Steelers, Roethlisberger running out of time to do new deal

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When it comes to contracts, the Steelers have one very clear rule:  Once the regular season starts, no new deals will be done.

For quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has two years left on his current long-term contract, that means there’s not much time to get the kind of raise he surely covets, especially in light of the current quarterback market.

Despite a cap number of $18.895 million, Roethlisberger will earn only $12.1 million in 2014.  And while I often follow the word “only” with an “(only?)” when throwing around numbers like that, as quarterbacks go Roethlisberger is grossly underpaid.

Plenty of other guys who haven’t played nearly as long nor accomplished nearly as much have broken the $20 million-per-year barrier.  Roethlisberger meanwhile carries the risk of injury (which is quite high given his age and playing style) while waiting for a deal that reflects the current state of the franchise-quarterback market.

The Steelers are content to carry a cap number bloated by multiple can-kicking restructurings, knowing that the next contract will cost them plenty of money.  And while they’ll extend quarterback deals with two seasons left, there’s been no indication of progress on a retirement contract for Roethlisberger.

It doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made.  Both sides have remained largely quiet about the status of talks, a truce of sorts after a series of reports last season from the league’s in-house media operation suggested Roethsliberger may want out of town.  That prompted the player to declare he’ll never leave — and it prompted some (me, at least) to wonder whether the Steelers leaked the story, knowing that Roethlisberger would react by professing the kind of commitment to the Steelers that could make it easier to get him to accept something much less than a market-value deal.

If it worked, no one knows.  And no one likely will know until a deal gets announced and then the numbers are dissected to see whether he signed a Tom Brady-style “take one for the team” contract that pays out $30 million to sign — or whether Roethlisberger accepted a Colin Kaepernick-level contract that continues to underpay the player as the market is poised to explode, fueled by a new trend of annual salary-cap spikes.

80 responses to “Steelers, Roethlisberger running out of time to do new deal

  1. They’ll use their 1st round in 2015 on the next franchise QB. One year of sitting then Big Ben is off the books and they can spend money on other position while not being hamstrung w/ a $20m QB.

  2. No they’re not, they have 2 years. They don’t do contracts duing the season, true, but that still gives them an entire offseason before they are running out of time.

  3. No more trips to Milledgeville or Vegas? I cant wait to see how fat Ben is when he reports THIS season!

    The Steelers mediocrity the past 3 years (and counting) has directly correspended to signing that guy to a long term contract.

    Well that and holding on to all the other old guys on their roster…looking in your direction, Troy!

  4. Hopefully Ben realizes that taking a little bit less money than he could get on the open market to be an anchor on a bad team’s salary cap the Steelers will be able to surround him with the kind of talent you need to win championships. I’m sure on his retirement contract he’d like to ride off into the sunset carrying another Lombardi.

  5. a deal will get done.. Ben loves pittsburgh and will take a contract that pays less than 20 mil annually.. he has been paid 100 million already by the steelers.. money is not an issue for him

  6. I am getting nervous about this mow. Big Ben is a two-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback and deserves his fair share of money. I know it’s a what have you done for me lately league, but last season hopefully is what is to come for Big Ben and my Steelers team in terms of success on both sides of the field.

  7. So much talk about the running game, but you don’t pay a QB 100 mil to hand off the football.

  8. Mediocre: adj: of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate.

    Please enlighten me on how a .500 record the past 2 years on top of a loss to Tim Tebow IN THE PLAYOFFS is better than mediocre?

    Bens’ best days are obviously well behind him. Thank Colbert. Behind that joke of an OL, he’s been ridden hard and put away wet.

  9. He’s grossly underpaid for what he’s accomplished? Where’s all the critics that said Russell Wilson rode a top notch defense and running game to a Super Bowl? When Pitts D and running game disappeared, this guy did too, plus off field incidents?

  10. Everyone raise your hand if your QB has won 2 Super Bowl rings…………………….

    Oh, only Pats and NYG fans raised up? Ya, I’d say Ben is quite medicore. 3 of 32 starting QBs really drives that point home.

  11. Running backs can be thrown to as well. Run sets up the pass and makes it easier for play action fakes. Ben actually has had some really good throwing season the last few years. The defensive pass rush and offensive lines are where we have to improve. Looks like we are doing just that. I would be surprised if a deal wasn’t worked out in the next couple of weeks.

  12. No reason to be nervous about Roethlisberger’s status. As someone else posted, his contract is good for two years. The Steelers have plenty of time to consider their options before re-signing–or not–becomes a critical issue. But no matter how this plays out, Ben is moving into the twilight of his career, and the team will have to start preparing for the future. I just hope that when he does eventually step down, we won’t have to wait another two+ decades for the next franchise QB the way we waited between Bradshaw and Ben.

  13. Ok let’s go over what a new contract would mean. We Steelers fans have a lot of practice at this.

    First of all, technically it would not be an entirely “new” contract, it would also be an extension of the current contract, which has two years left and unavoidable dead money over those two years. A contract extension would turn part of the 12 million salary due this year into part of a new signing bonus, this lowering his cap number for this year, while pushing the bonus money down the line across future years to future caps in the form of more dead money. The Steelers have been burned on this in the past, see Woodley’s last contract for an example. They will still carry Woodley’s dead money next year, and just finally got rid of Willie Colon’s dead money, coming from when those guys got cut.

    I think I got all that right. Hopefully.

    Now, he does have two years left on his current contract, so there really isn’t any hurry for this year. Besides, the Steelers are already in a surprisingly good cap situation already due to the cap going higher for this year than expected. There is really no need to lower their cap number at this time. All their picks are signed and they have enough cap room left for other signings if they need them later on this preseason; if, for example, that want to resign Brett Keisal of James Harrison. Which will only happen if enough of their current prospects at defensive end and linebacker perform poorly.

    Anyways, there are other contracts I’d like to see them get done first, such as Cortez Allen. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit not to see anything done for Ben this year. I’m sure he understands the situation, hence his denials of caring on the matter. I think he’ll end up retiring as a member of the Steelers. So does he, most likely.

    Go Steelers!

  14. Interesting math to include only money paid this year. His 33.5 million dollar signing bonus was paid up front. He’s already been paid another 11 million for the next two seasons that you’re leaving out.

  15. When we start knocking heads and stacking W’s this season, I promise you that I will make you not want to click on any Steeler articles on this site.

    It will be painful for you to watch. Get your shots in now haters. Less than two weeks until camp.

  16. Despite my dislike for the current Steelers I’ll openly admit that Roethlisberger has been a great qb for them, and is always a danger. That being said, with his career starting to wind down it would be wise for the Steeler organization to take their time offering him a new contract. If they can wait through one more season I would have a hard time faulting them, as I am sure they would like to see just how much gas he has left in the tank, and if his body can still take the beating. It also doesn’t help that qbs like Flaco got offered ridiculous deals that they are not remotely worth.

  17. They are probably running into problems putting in exercise, jogging, and weight trimming clauses in the contract. They don’t want to see him run around the field like he’s in a hamster wheel.

  18. Isn’t his current year salary of $12M irrelevant? It is $6M less than his cap hit because he already has that money in his bank account due to prior restructurings.

  19. This situation will resolve itself despite the hand wringing and speculation. Both parties know that they need one another and a fair compromise will occur.

    And a special thanks to all of the regular negative posters here. Just as the sun rises every morning, I can count on the flurry of insults and baseless claims on every Steelers news item. Feel free to seek professional help for your OCD.

  20. Ben will lead us this year to RING#7!!!
    He has the best O line since he has gotten here .The Running game is Steady & The Defense bends but does not break.Also,HE WINS SB MVP!!!!!

  21. Everyone raise your hand if your QB has won 2 Super Bowl rings…………………….

    Oh, only Pats and NYG fans raised up? Ya, I’d say Ben is quite medicore. 3 of 32 starting QBs really drives that point home.

    How exactly is distant past performance relevent when evaluating a player’s CURRENT ability?

  22. Ben will lead us this year to RING#7!!!
    He has the best O line since he has gotten here .The Running game is Steady & The Defense bends but does not break.Also,HE WINS SB MVP!!!!!

    Kind of early to be hitting the hard stuff isn’t it?

  23. Money paid to Big Ben is money that can’t be spent bribing refs. Which will pay off more in the long run?

  24. I find the speculation to be so bottom up. Top down, the team has him for two years plus the transition tag. Why rush?

  25. I believe the Steelers and Ben will work out a deal that will enable Ben to retire as a Steeler. He has 3-5 good years left, that means the possibility of more SB trophies.

    When Ben is finally done, fans had better hope the Steelers don’t have to wait years to get another QB like, like Deb said. Overall, Ben, as ONE OF ELEVEN players on offense, has held up his end of the bargain pretty well over the years. He should have been MVP of SB XLIII. Giving it to Holmes was a travesty.

  26. I can’t wait until the steelers give that overrated qb a bunch more money! He’s getting old and will start missing more and more time with injuries. He was always injured but played through it, however when a player gets older they usually can’t keep gutting it out. Big dumb Ben at this point in his career is nothing more than Daunte Culpepper 2.0. Hahahaha!! The stupid Steelers won’t realize that until its too late and they will rot in mediocrity for the next decade. Love it

  27. Big Ben is a great Quarterback. Been to three superbowls in five years. For all these people putting him down, let me name those superbowls for you. Superbowl 40 in which they beat the seahawks 21-10 in only his second season. Superbowl 43 in which they beat the cardinals 27-23 which was the best superbowl ever. Superbowl 45 in which they lost 31-25 to the packers. Get ur facts straight. Pay the man Steelers!!!!

  28. Funny because all you people have no clue what your talking about gotta be browns or ravens fans probably ravens fans because they know we will always own them.Ben had one of his best years last year despite losing the first 4 weeks you guys have no idea what’s in store for the 2014 season bens playing smarter and better football just like manning and Brady has in there later years good luck afc north steelers are back.

  29. Fact: Ben has thrown more Superbowl INTs than Superbowl TDs.

    Fact: Ben has averaged 1 TD per Superbowl appearance.

    So clutch brah.


    And there a A LOT of quarterbacks who would love to have that stat, but don’t because they’ve never been to even ONE Superbowl, let alone THREE.

    What is Philip Rivers’ TD / INT ratio? Andrew Luck? Andy Dalton? Carson Palmer? Matt Ryan? Matthew Stafford? Should I go on?

  30. I believe Ben takes less money to finish out his career in Pittsburgh. The teams problems of late have not been because his skills have declined. The team (especially on Defense) had gotten old. The Steelers were excellent in free agency and in the Draft, and have done much to rectify the problems. Team speed will be significantly improved. I expect the Steelers to win the division and I’m anticipating playoff success.

  31. Ben will get a new contract with a nice sized signing bonus like T Brady…. getting the team to 3 super bowls from 2005 – 2010 season unlike any other AFC North QB… and 2 more in the next 3 years… PS4L….

  32. Can’t stand the guy but he is one tough QB who can hurt you at anytime. The Steelers would be terrible without him. They better work something out until they can groom someone to replace him which will not be easy.

  33. Ben has been playing behind a spotty and injured
    O-line, and with less than stellar running backs for
    a few years now. This year, he should have the
    protection and the running game to balance out
    the Steelers offense.

    It would be great if they can re-sign Big Ben at a
    reasonable contract now. With Haley’s new offense
    now installed, the pieces are in place for Ben to have
    one of his best seasons ever, and re-signing him
    will only become more expensive later.

    I hope Ben gives the team a hometown discount
    and that he retires a Steeler. And hopefully, equals
    the great Bradshaw’s record of SB’s.
    Who ride ? Go Steelers!

  34. Like us steeler fans say look at his career.Stats are nothing he’s a winner and last two seasons were two of his best statistically more weapons now a ridiculous running game faster on d I smell a afc north victory and a playoff birth all you guys that are hating it’s for a reason and that’s the fact that the steelers are a factor again sucks for sorry ravens and bengals fans browns don’t deserve the respect to be mentioned jonny Manziel that’s funny .

  35. Steeler Offense should be significantly improved. They now have 3 very good RB’s (one with (4.2) 40 yard dash speed) and the return of their probowl center from injury. Ben has suffered from not having a legitimate running game…causing the Steelers to be one-dimensional the last few years. That all changes this year. A renewed focus upon the running game with HOF Mike Munchak as their line coach is “big.” Now defenses have to deal with the Steeler running game first. This makes Ben very dangerous. Defenses won’t be able to cheat and drop back into coverage. I would imagine that Ben will thrive in the new Offense.

  36. I especially like Ben’s ability to stay upright when rushed. This buys time for things to develop downfield. Conbine this with a renewed focus upon the “run,” and I see the Steelers winning the division and more. The return of the running game, which has been missing for several years, will be key in returning this team to championship form. When combined with what the Steelers have done with their defense (I really like the increase in team speed), their is much to be excited about in Steeler Nation.

  37. Big Ben = Not $o much…
    After the Ravens decimate him at the Bank in week two.
    Pittsburgh will be lucky to finish up 8/8 this season.
    AFC North basement dwellers, just behind the Brownies and Johny Football.

  38. Jimmy Smith was the 5th Raven arrested in this offseason. At this rate, do you believe the Ravens will still be able to field a complete team by Week 2? Perhaps as a courtesy, the Steelers can travel to the Baltimore County Jail.

  39. Since no QB has had more success since he entered the league, he should be the highest paid player in the nfl.


  40. Relax, They will resign Big Ben because Landry Jones isn’t ready yet and the Rooneys Love Ben.
    As far as Johnny football, I doubt he will ever have a winning record in the NFL. If he don’t stop drinking (which he won’t) he will be out of football in about 4 years like Tebow, but without the excitement. And Troy will be here at least 2 more years.

  41. Yeah the Steelers leaked a completely ludicrous story about Ben wanting out of Pittsburgh. Solely in the interest of contract posturing. Ooohhhhkaaaayyyy.
    there’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in awhile

  42. pay the man it’s about time that we realizing that we cannot win without Ben that’s the saying we cannot win without Ben pay the man.

  43. Replacing a guy who threw 17 TD passes in each of the Steelers 3 Super Bowl seasons is going to be rough. I don’t know about waiting 20-plus years but probably going to have to wait at least until the fourth round of a future draft.

  44. Ben deserves the contract extension – period. To sign Pouncey for four more years at that $$$ was ludicrous. The man hasn’t played a full season yet. Truth be told, he will end up like half of the Ravens team.

    Roethlisberger deserves more than Rivers, Cutler, Flacco, Romo, Stafford, shall I go on. The only QBs he should be behind are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Andrew Luck, Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson have not earned their due yet, but in time, I believe Luck and Wilson will be top dollar QBs. Kapernick is a flash in the pan.

  45. Fascinating how some teams who win every year keep their players and my .500 team can’t keep their best players? Almost like teams are making contracts and paying cash? lol

  46. Surprised at how easy everyone negatively judges Roethlisberger for his past behavior, but then ignores his positive recent behavior (several years and counting, with a clean nose, wife, kids, community involvement)…

    I know some of you will never forgive him for stuff he did when he was younger (and far more pig-headed); but what is it going to take to recognize that maybe this guy really *is* getting his act together?

    He’s been doing this for too long now to be just a shallow PR act…

  47. I think people are paying more attention to the amount of cash Ben makes than they need to. If the cap goes up $10 million each of the next two years, the Steelers can afford to pay him a lot more than they are now. He costs $19ish million right now and they still don’t need to redo his contract for extra cap room. They avoid more dead money down the line with status quo, so why change anything? That situation will get better, not worse, with more cap room in each of the next two years.

    Ben has been the toughest, hardest to bring down qb in the league for a while now, and has always come back for more. He’s down no signs of slowing down. Only trolls or idiots mistake that for being out of shape. With the best line he’s had in a long time for this year, he’s going to have a fair amount of mileage left in his tank going forward. I say redo his contract next year, give him a bit of a raise, and barring injury – a risk every player always faces – there really isn’t any reason he can’t play another 4 years at a quality level.

    Go Steelers!

  48. I just called the league office to inquire about when Ray Rice’s suspension is going to come down. Surprisingly someone answered the phone. I’m going to call everyday until they release it.

  49. It’s time again to feed the inbred trolls, get your shots in now mamma’s boys. Ben wins number three this year and will retire a Steeler!

  50. Replacing a guy who threw 17 TD passes in each of the Steelers 3 Super Bowl seasons is going to be rough. I don’t know about waiting 20-plus years but probably going to have to wait at least until the fourth round of a future draft.

    Nah, bob just go to QB’s Are US and pick out a new one…same answer to your same rant…yawn.

  51. Everyone raise your hand if your QB has won 2 Super Bowl rings…………………….

    Oh, only Pats and NYG fans raised up? Ya, I’d say Ben is quite medicore. 3 of 32 starting QBs really drives that point home.


    And Who got blew out by Tom Brady in November? Who choked .vs. Peyton Manning in 2012? Big Ben? Super Bowl rings do not make you a legend. Who remember Trent Difler?

  52. Listen, say what you want about Roethlisberger, but this guy has turned his personal life around. He has earned the respect of law enforcement AROUND THE COUNTRY, not just the tri state area with is K9 program.

    He’s settled down, is married, has a family. You don’t hear any negatives any longer. And truthfully, the two incidents never resulted in an arrest, let alone a conviction of any kind. And yet he was suspended by the commissioner for 8 games? Let’s take a look at Michael Crabtree from San Francisco, nothing. Ray Rice, nothing, the list goes on.
    @Warman8 – the sum of all parts – the entire season is what gets the team to the SuperBowl, not just one game. Ben was the MVP of his 2nd SuperBowl. No one else puts that ball exactly where it needed to be. Ben moved that team down the field. There was no way Goddell would have allowed Ben to be the MVP. His first SuperBowl, he was the reason they were even in that game, if not for his tackle against the Colts after Bettis fumbled. You may not like him, but at the end of the day, he is the go to guy.

  53. ____________________________________

    And Who got blew out by Tom Brady in November? Who choked .vs. Peyton Manning in 2012? Big Ben? Super Bowl rings do not make you a legend. Who remember Trent Difler?

    Brady hasn’t won a SB in 01 years and the last time I saw Manning he was hacking up a lung!

  54. Jump Ball Benny.

    The MVP of SB XLIII for the Steelers was Santonio Holmes for catching that punt of a pass.

    ___________________________________Ben put that pass where only Santonio could catch it. Greatest play in SB history!

  55. and the award for biggest troll ever goes to….jbsteeler

    He’s spot on concerning Rice! I smell a pay off!

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