Despite occasionally musing about retirement, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is apparently committed enough to remaining in Pittsburgh for years to come that he’s expecting to sign a contract extension this offseason.
Roethlisberger and the Steelers are planning to have a new deal done before March 13, the start of the league year, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The agreement is likely to add years to Roethlisberger’s contract but provide short-term cap relief and lower Roethlisberger’s cap hit for the 2019 season. One reason the Steelers are interested in doing that is to create extra cap room to absorb the $21.12 million cap hit they would absorb if they traded Antonio Brown, and still have enough money under the cap to acquire another receiver to replace him.
If Roethlisberger and Brown are really as at odds as some media reports have indicated, Roethlisberger might be more than happy to do a deal that would help the Steelers afford to move on from Brown, although any extension he signs in the offseason would likely add more money to his deal overall while reducing his 2019 cap number.
The 2019 season is the final year of Roethlisberger’s current contract. He is scheduled to have a cap hit of $23.2 million. After several quarterbacks signed big deals last year, including Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan, it will be interesting to see what kind of money Roethlisberger demands this year.