Now That Jay Cutler Has A New Mega Deal, Ben Roethlisberger Figures To Be Next

On Thursday, the Chicago Bears announced that they have signed veteran quarterback Jay Cutler to a new seven-year contract and while the financial terms and structure are still undisclosed at the time of this post, several are reporting that the average yearly value will come in at around $18 million.

Cutler was set to become an unrestricted free agent and now that his situation has been addressed, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, along with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, figure to be next on the list to get mega-deals via contract extensions during the offseason.

Roethlisberger, who in 2013 played every snap for the first time in his career, still has two years on his current contract, but judging by the Steelers track record, an extension is forthcoming. As far as new money goes for Roethlisberger, whose final two years of his current contract total out to be $27 million, that will likely average out to be more than the $20.1 million that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco received last offseason and it will likely include a signing bonus somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-32 million.

The Steelers will certainly need the salary cap room in 2014 that a Roethlisberger extension would provide them, so getting this done prior to the start of free agency would certainly be a good thing. The last time that Roethlisberger was given an extension was in the early part of March in 2008, so that indeed could be the timeframe that we are looking at this time around.

  • Americangypsy

    It’s just crazy what people get paid for playing a game. I am all for resigning BR and know this is a billion dollar sport but it is just amazing to receive a 30 million dollar signing bonus. Just crazy.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ben should take less money because one way or the other he will have more than he knows what to do with. But if we wish to believe what he says (He wants to win more Super Bowls than Bradshaw), then he better be prepared to take a lot less money than his supposed worth on the free market.

    Any savings he gives to the Steelers means potentially a few more decent players for the team. Come on, man….let’s win championships.

  • Brendon Glad

    I hope you are correct. I still have thoughts that at some point the gigantic tv deal they signed 2 years ago will be reflected in a large salary cap increase. Maybe the owners have done some fancy accounting and will comtinue to pretend that revenues havent increased enough to give the players a raise, but i still think it will happen.
    So at that point, qb salaries could explode even more. So now would be a great time to secure him at a more reasonable price.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I disagree with you on this one. I think they need to find the 2014 cap space elsewhere and take advantage of the fact that he is making a below market salary now. The reason why he got so much money up front originally is so the Steelers pay a little less on the back end. Paying him more money this year just continues the practice of kicking cap problems down the road instead of correcting some fundamental problems.

    Coming off such a good year is the wrong time to negotiate the extension. Next year he will be a little order and the leverage may switch. If it doesn’t, let him play out the deal and franchise him in 2016. Any extension that pays out more than $47m from 2014-2016 is just spending money that doesn’t need to be spent.

  • srdan

    Cap problems are here to stay. As steeler fans, we are not the only ones experiencing them. Every team has them. If you have a franchise QB past his rookie contract (which every team strives to have one) you have much bigger cap issues. All the big name free agents that are signed away from their original teams are by other teams with rookie or jurneyman QB contracts.

    So sign ben, and lets continue discussing how to salvage our team outside of htat.

  • srdan

    Don’t think of it in those terms. Think how much money does he make for the rooneys and the NFL by selling tickets and TV? He is just an investment for them to put the best product on the field.

    For this very reason don’t overlook polumalus’ value to a team like Jacksonville that can’t fill seats or sell jerseys. The hair makes him a household name.

  • srdan

    This is actually a well thought out plan. Franchising a player means that they usually play hard as hell to showcase what they ahve to get a long term deal. It’s hard to argue that he is not worth top 5 money in the league. Especially if a franchise tag is coming on the heels of a “discounted” season as he is due next year.

  • Dan

    Agree, except that I don’t necessarily think he is making below market value now. He is a tier II QB generally ranking in the top 6-10 range (admittedly there are overpaid QBs in this range). He is very valuable to the organization, but given his injury history we must consider that we won’t play healthy through the years ahead. Yes, he plays hurt, but he doesn’t play well hurt. We’ll be hit with nearly $7mil per year in each of the next two years for earlier restructured bonuses and he’ll be making salaries around $12mil per year. So cap hits of $18 mil per year. The advantage of an extension this year is that we can save cap space in ’14 and ’15 on base salaries, but we would be adding new signing bonus prorations, so at best our cap savings might be $5-$7 million. I’d say do an extension this year if he is open to favorable numbers, otherwise hold til next year when we may have better leverage (or have a better sense of how his health and performance will be as he progresses through his 30’s).

  • WilliamSekinger

    Has Ben asked for that trade yet? LMAO!

  • Jeff

    That’s really easy for us fans to say though…. I’m sure fans of every team in the NFL want the same thing for their perspective team’s top stars

  • CrazyTerry

    Man, not an unexpected contract, but still wow, that much for an injury prone QB(Cutler, not Ben) who doesn’t have a single SB yet.
    Flacco’s 20M contract was based on one of the best postseason runs an AFC QB has had in a long time. His numbers were quite good in last year’s playoffs which followed a very solid playoff performance the prior year. He gambled and won as an unrestricted free agent. I hope the NFL doesn’t try to use Flacco’s regular season as a basis to compare other QBs and takes into acfcount the premium he got for being that well timed unrestricted free agent.

  • johnhoien

    I know they are great QB’s .. no question about that..especially Ben R. #7 But there must be a time where they ask themselves some hard questions.. ie. franchise QB’s and Ben himself..a tough career question… “Do I want the largest contract and all the other teammates to walk into free agency… or do I want to share a piece of the pie and WIN another Super Bowl (s) #7,#8,#9?

  • Mike Carroll

    Agreed. I’d prefer the team does not touch Ben’s contract this offseason. I think the team is already overpaying for an average team that is still
    in transition. I would not rush out to give pay raises. Nor would I
    continue to defer large amounts of salary cap money at this point in

    If they do extend Ben this offseason and continue to defer large amounts of cap money from his contract (and others), it will likely mean they’ll need to blow up the team when Ben’s time is over. They’ll be left with a ton of dead money from Ben’s contract (and others) which will cripple the team for at least one season from a salary cap standpoint. Those are risks I would not be willing to take this offseason, but I don’t doubt that Colbert may be committed to that strategy unless Rooney instructs him otherwise.

  • srdan

    I think Flaccos contract is more a product of the time frame rather than his production in the playoffs. Granted that helped immensely. If they let their young QB walk following a superbowl run it would mar the legacy of ozzie and set teh frachise back in a competitive division. What signal would that send to their growing fanbase? I think he was getting a huge contract even if he pooped the bed in the playoffs and they won the superbowl (Trent Dilfer style).

  • DarthVenamis

    Saying or expecting someone else to take less money than they are worth is weak regardless of how much they make. NFL players only have a certain window of time (some longer than others) in which to earn their money and no one should expect them to do anything other than maximize their earnings potential.

  • CrazyTerry

    Hopefully, he will go the Brady and Crosby route and take a little less , but still competitive wages.Plus, if Steelers extend him 2 years early, they should get a discount for removing some uncertainty.

  • CrazyTerry

    But it was still a gamble. Ozzie felt like Ravens would win either way. He made a very generous offer of an extension. Flacco refused. Ozzie felt like even if he lost the gamble, that would mean, they are winning a SB with Flacco on a salary drive. And if Flacco lost the SB, his salary would not be any higher than offered in the prior offseason.

    No one could have expected the spectuclar TD to INT numbers Flacco put up. Not a single turnover? And Ravens faced some high quality teams in the playoffs.

    it was the combination of the prior solid playoff run by Flacco with that SB run that gave him leverage as a young QB on an upswing who is better when the stage is bigger that gave him that premium as an unrestricted free agent. if Ravens just franchised him and he waited another year, he would have lost that gamble.

  • Michael Pearce

    We wont have a chance to win another super bowl anytime soon without Ben, but this Cutler contract extension is a huge overpay for him. I think that just drove up both Ben’s and Manning’s new extensions a lot more than they were going to be.

  • Shawn S.

    No one says that about movie stars and singers who make mega-millions for performing, too. It’s no different for athletes. They aren’t just playing a game, they’re doing it better than anyone in the world.

  • mlc43

    It’s a really nice sentiment, but for the most part unrealistic. Sure there are a few players in the past that have done that but it is certainly not the norm. I don’t know if I would do it. His primary job isn’t to win games, or even Super Bowls. His first and foremost concern is, and should be, taking care of his family for generations to come.

  • Matt Manzo

    I can’t believe they have Cutler that much money! I don’t see it in him.

  • T R

    yeah and they also risking bone broke, concussions, ACL tears and many other injuries. and their job spends over only 10 -15 years… yeah i wish i could get paid that , but i don’t. but i don;t hate on them for it. Cause if they don’t get paid all that then all these owners, tv broadcast company, cable and NFL would be getting all the loot..

  • Bill Molinaro

    No question that Ben is a franchise quarterback and due a representative contract. That being said, I believe that the game of football is being ruined by the lack of some sort of salary structure. On many teams the few highest paid players are accounting for a huge chunk of the salary cap. This often leaves too little cash for players that are just as necessary as the QB. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Steelers and their OL. In this era of free agency, guaranteed contracts and ego driven desire to be the highest paid player at his position, it’s going to get worse. I’m not sure movie stars and the like are a good parallel case; their contracts usually not guaranteed if they don’t deliver at the box office. It’s not a question of whether or not they deserve to be paid the huge sums, but rather that more of the players should reap a bigger portion of the pie.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    people seem to foget that Brady is two up on contracts for their careers..

  • treeher

    Pay him market, pay him what he’s worth. He’s the crown jewel of the franchise.

  • Eric Crook

    Get it done Colbert!

  • Jazz

    #43 has seen his better days; it amazes me how some fans get so infactuated with what a player has done in the past, opposed to being realistic to what he can do for the team in the future. It’s time to get younger and faster. Better yet, it’s past due time. As far as #7 goes, I guess the Rooney’s have to do what they have to do. There is only two QB’s IMHO whose play on the field matches a salary of 20M per season, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. And I still would be reluctant to pay that kind of money to them. I will say this though, down the strecth in 2013 was the best #7 has played in his career. After signing his contract, will he regress?

  • cp72

    Pay him…pay that man his money
    Teddy KGB

  • NW86

    Thank you, I was just about to write a very similar comment. I really don’t think they should extend him now with 2 modest years left on his contract and his “market value” for an extension currently as high as it will ever be. We seem to be in the minority, but I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  • NW86

    I’m surprised at Cutler’s deal too, and I’m surprised it got done so quickly. I thought it would last until March, and come in around 4yrs/$60M.
    Remember though, it’s not just Flacco who has a huge contract. Brees was first, then Flacco, Rodgers, and Matt Ryan. Heck, even P Manning, who was 35 and coming off a year-long injury with concerns over whether he would ever perform well again, got $19.2M/yr. 20M is now the norm for a franchise QB.

  • srdan

    I think you are underestimating the season 43 had, especially after he was allowed to play his regular position. I encourage you to page through the stats and compare him to the likes of Barry, Weddle…Keep in mind that he played all 16 games as well and showed up lighter compared to other seasons. I didn’t watch other safeties every game, but 43 was felt out there in a positive way the last 12 games. His impact was huge; by far still our biggest playmaker.

    You misread my post anyway, I was referring to the his marketability to the average fan, not you or me. To the NFL he is worth more in a market like Jacksonville than in Pittsburgh. A few kids in Florida would buy a wig, the jersey and a few tickets to go see him. Agree? That’s all I said.

    I am not naive to think that he played or will play at an MVP level again. But that does not mean that he is worth writing off right now. He was deserving of the probowl.

    I also disagree on your assessment of BB’s value. In simple economics terms your model doesn’t work.

    And you last sentence “After signing his contract, will he regress?”…That could be applied to every player in the NFL. Do you suggest that we sign everyone to 1 year deals? That takes away from football being a team game.

  • ecummins82

    To say that Ben played EVERY snap for the FIRST time in his career in 2013 is false. Ben also played EVERY snap back in 2006 or 2007, I believe.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Okay guys, I get what you’re saying, but here’s a couple of points. If in his lifetime with the Steelers he makes $100 million or $250 million, it is still tons and tons of money for his family, for charities, and hell, he would have enough left over to create a couple on little Ben villages in Africa or whatever he wants. Plus, he can invest it and make much, much more. So obviously, those amounts are certainly not what he will be remembered for, but we will remember him much, much more if he helps win more Super Bowls.

    Also, he has actually said that he loves the Steelers, and he truly does want to win. If so, then I challenge him to put his money where he mouth is. Or, in this case, take a little less money so they can keep or sign more players that will be needed for those future championships.

  • Kirby Hogenmiller

    God damn i hope Ben doesn’t get greedy and ask for like a 150 million dollers.

  • alex

    Cutler, Flacco, and Manning Jr are all second level QBs that got fat contracts because there just aint alotta NFL level A grade QBs out there…

    OK, two of em, got hot streaks and won the SB, but there seasonal histories are second level, so to compare them to BEN does BEN an injustice!

  • Nolrog

    2006 and 2007 he played in 15 games, so he missed 1 game each season. 2008 he played in all 16 games and on a quick look, every snap.

  • Nolrog

    Well, Eli won two super bowls and was SB MVP both times. So there’s hardly an injustice to compare him to Ben.

  • yournightmare

    You have skills to play a popular game, which at any time your career could finish by an injury and in this new era a 28 years old player is old, so if you can get those millions then it is alright. It is not a normal job as anybody could get and do it for 30 years, it could be 5 years or less than 10.

  • notgoingtobegood

    sorry nolrog – he was replaced in the 1st game in 4th QTR with a shoulder injury in 2008….