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Steelers apparently content to carry $18.895 million cap number for Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger AP

In recent years, the Steelers’ annual game of salary-cap limbo has included a restructuring of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s contract.  But after three straight years of converting salary to signing bonus in order to drive down cap numbers, Roethlisberger has only two years left on his contract.

What’s that, you say?  Can’t he do an extension like the ones signed Wednesday by safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller?

In theory, Ben can.  But the team knows that if he gets an extension, it’s not going to be another shuffling of dollars in the current year.  Ben’s going to want a raise.  A significant one.

And for good reason.  His base salary for 2014 is a mere $12.1 million, with the rest of his bloated $18.895 million cap number coming from the base salaries converted to bonuses in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  Meanwhile, lesser quarterbacks with fewer (or no) Super Bowl rings are making $20 million or more per year.

So the Steelers apparently will take a wait and see approach, unless Roethlisberger is willing to take less than full market value.  (A deal in theory could come at any time; both sides have to date honored an agreement to not discuss the situation on or off the record.)  If no new contract is negotiated, the Steelers won’t have to worry about Roethlisberger clamoring for a raise, thanks to his strong reaction to rumors from last year that he wants out.  By already giving up his primary leverage, it’ll be hard for him to make a power play now.

Next year, when the salary cap keeps going up and Roethlisberger’s salary drops to $11.6 million and his age climbs to 33, Ben could be even more antsy.  But he’ll still have a hard time getting out of the corner into which he has painted himself by declaring he wants to retire in Pittsburgh.

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28 Responses to “Steelers apparently content to carry $18.895 million cap number for Roethlisberger”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 5, 2014 11:56 PM

    In theory it’s not hard at all. All he has to do is say I’m not playing until you extend my contract and even 100 days at 30k is only 3 million bucks which is well worth it for me to get some headway on a solution, so are you going to pay me, or trade me to somebody who will pay me, or have me rot here while you roll with Gradkowski?

  2. magicmtndan says: Mar 6, 2014 1:00 AM

    Good move Steelers.

    Where are all the Steelers haters now?!

    Where are all the Ratbirds fan boys (with their way overpaid QB) telling us how the Ratbirds do it best?

  3. cannabisisgreat says: Mar 6, 2014 1:16 AM

    Yikes

  4. naes says: Mar 6, 2014 4:29 AM

    He could always play somewhere else for a bit then do a one day contract and retire a Steeler. I’m sure his agent will make mention of that.

  5. dcapettini says: Mar 6, 2014 5:20 AM

    Obviously loyalty doesn’t mean much to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Without Ben they are much worse off than they are now, which is average, just an 8 – 8 team. Maybe Flacco’s agent doesn’t look so bad now. Good guys finish last.

  6. ravensdominate says: Mar 6, 2014 5:34 AM

    Yesssss

  7. peytonmanningsforehead says: Mar 6, 2014 6:54 AM

    Better than the $21 mill plus that the Cowboys have invested in Romo.

  8. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 6, 2014 1:30 PM

    Have him play one more season, then trade him in his final year. After coming off 5 straight one-and-dones, the bengals will be ready to trade their entire 2016 & 2017 drafts for the services of Ben.

  9. SmashMouthFootball says: Mar 6, 2014 1:39 PM

    If true, it takes some cojones to put the squeeze on your franchise QB this way. In response what’s the over/under on when Ben’s first injury occurs with his drama of “toughing it out”.

  10. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 6, 2014 1:44 PM

    I’d be shock if the Rooneys overpay Roethlisberger a SECOND time. I would think once was enough…
    The Steelers have themselves a QB who has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s a QB who requires a top-5 scoring defense to be successful.

  11. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 6, 2014 3:05 PM

    In response what’s the over/under on when Ben’s first injury occurs with his drama of “toughing it out”.

    That did not happen at all last year.

  12. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 6, 2014 3:06 PM

    I’d be shock if the Rooneys overpay Roethlisberger a SECOND time. I would think once was enough…
    The Steelers have themselves a QB who has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s a QB who requires a top-5 scoring defense to be successful.

    Ah, the daily Ben basher speaks again. Nothing new just the same old tired line. What I would like the Rambo sage of three rivers to do is present a plausible solution to the Ben situation that is more than just drafting an average QB to replace him…..that is just plain dumb.

  13. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 6, 2014 3:08 PM

    The Steelers have themselves a QB who has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s a QB who requires a top-5 scoring defense to be successful.

    Untrue. Ben has had his 2 best seasons statistics-wise in the last 2 years and the defense has hardly been a top-5 scoring defenses in those years. It was the defense and injuries that made them finish 8-8 two years in a row. Without Ben, they would have been much much worse.

  14. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 6, 2014 3:09 PM

    Yesssss

    I do not understand how or why a Ravens fan is happy with the Ben contract situation. If Ben stays with the Steelers, the Ravens have never beat Ben in the playoffs. If Ben leaves, the Steelers backups have had success against the Ravens.

  15. zonex74 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:12 PM

    At the end of the day, a deal will get done that both sides will be happy with and this will be a none story. The fact that the Steelers are able to take care of their salary cap situation prior to even getting to Ben is the real story.

  16. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 6, 2014 3:15 PM

    I believe that Ben’s contract situation is going to be the one that puts the Steelers in a bad situation. Gradkowski is a career backup and Landry Jones is still very raw. I do not see them drafting a QB this year. Without maybe finding a veteran that can start for them, Ben is all they have right now.

  17. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 6, 2014 4:46 PM

    The Steelers are a proven 8-8 team with a QB who is being paid elitist money. Trade him, plug in a less expensive QB, then use that savings to sign genuine help. There’s nothing complicated about any of this…
    I realize that the fanbase is still enamored with Roethlisberger’s brilliant three-game postseason performances of nine years ago leading up to Super Bowl 40. He threw 7 TD passes and just one interception. He also made a game-saving tackle against the Colts.
    I get it.
    He was sensational.
    But take away those three playoff games of NINE years ago and Roethlisberger has thrown 11 TD passes and 13 picks in his other 11 postseason games, including just one TD pass in two Super Bowl wins.
    He has perfected averageness at an elite price.

  18. tralfaz1127 says: Mar 6, 2014 4:49 PM

    lesser quarterbacks with fewer (or no) Super Bowl rings

    What a joke. Most over-rated QB on a Super Bowl team ever. Almost single handedly lost the first one, and was bailed out by incompetent officiating.
    Should be in prison being the recipient of the rape he is so fond of.
    After the Browns draft a QB this year will become the worst in his own division. Keep locking up the cap on this pathetic aging team, and maybe even overtake the Clowns for last place.
    WHODEY!!!!!!

  19. siggy00 says: Mar 6, 2014 5:20 PM

    Back to the date site Bobzilla!

  20. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 6, 2014 5:27 PM

    Are you asking me out?
    kisses…

  21. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 6, 2014 5:35 PM

    The Steelers are a proven 8-8 team with a QB who is being paid elitist money. Trade him, plug in a less expensive QB, then use that savings to sign genuine help. There’s nothing complicated about any of this…
    I realize that the fanbase is still enamored with Roethlisberger’s brilliant three-game postseason performances of nine years ago leading up to Super Bowl 40. He threw 7 TD passes and just one interception. He also made a game-saving tackle against the Colts.
    I get it.
    He was sensational.
    But take away those three playoff games of NINE years ago and Roethlisberger has thrown 11 TD passes and 13 picks in his other 11 postseason games, including just one TD pass in two Super Bowl wins.
    He has perfected averageness at an elite price.

    So do tell me sage of the three rivers where the store is that you shop for the plug-ins you so wisely say are readily available. Please tell me how patient you would be with a return to Bubby Brister years. Same rant with stats, but no viable plant…yawn.

  22. siggy00 says: Mar 6, 2014 5:43 PM

    Bobzilla’s still waiting for Byron Leftwich to come in and save the Steelers.

    He’s nothing more than a John Steigerwald lackey who does his bidding for him on this website.

  23. siggy00 says: Mar 6, 2014 5:49 PM

    Anyone who followed this team knew this situation was going to occur the minute Art Rooney Jones II told a HOF QB to change the way he plays, then hired a former crony’s son to run the offense AFTER ARJII blamed Ben and Arians for Tim Tebow humiliating Dick LeBeau.

    Rooney doesn’t want to pay Ben. But he’s going to make sure Ben’s the “bad guy” on his way out the door also.

  24. donlowery01 says: Mar 6, 2014 7:20 PM

    I can’t believe all thease comments! Ben is the face of the team. A great QB. You can rattle off all the stats you want. That guy can do alot of really good things with what he has to work with! P poor o line and all. Lack of running game as well! I’d take big Ben over anyone but Brady!!!!!

  25. theuglitruth says: Mar 6, 2014 7:29 PM

    It doesn’t matter what you do Pittsburgh…you haven’t amounted to much since Bruce Arians left!

  26. steelcurtainn says: Mar 6, 2014 9:16 PM

    The Steelers have themselves a QB who has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s a QB who requires a top-5 scoring defense to be successful.

    Just like last year, right. Thanks for the laugh of the day.

    Oddly, there have been a few thing I have agreed with you in past post. Like Mike T’s clock management mistakes. Progress, you say. However, no way Big Ben needs a top 5 scoring defense to be successful.

  27. sbchampsagain says: Mar 7, 2014 11:30 AM

    I can’t believe Pitt overpaid for such a mediocre QB.
    That cap hit is even bigger than Flacco’s.
    Sheesh. No wonder they have no cap room.

  28. dagrizzman says: Mar 7, 2014 7:45 PM

    I’m no math major by any means, but why does a base salary of $12.1 million take an $18,859 million hit on the salary cap ? Not all of us fans understand the inner structure of this complicated process.Not only the Steelers,but most teams are robbing Peter to pay Paul under this system.I think a salary cap all around would be better, because the current salary cap is not doing teams justice.How can the Browns be $66 million under the cap ( I know,cause they are lousy) yet the better teams have to dump players and restructure every year ?

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