If the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a contract extension this offseason, it likely won't happen until later in the summer, according to general manager Kevin Colbert in a Thursday morning interview on DVE Radio.
"Ben has two years on his contract," started Colbert. "We want him to finish his career here, he wants to finish his career here. So at a certain point in time we may deal with that, but we're not at that point yet. The first order of business is to get in [salary cap] compliance. Guys that are future signings, we usually don't deal with them until the summer."
Roethlisberger is scheduled to earn a $12.1 million base salary in 2014 with a cap charge of $18.895 million. Come time that an extension is finally worked out, the new money figures to work out to a yearly average of more than $20.1 million, which would be more than Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is currently averaging in the new deal that he received last offseason.
The Steelers can make a deal like that work and actually lower Roethlisberger's 2014 cap charge by around $4 million in the process, but there is no guarantee it will get done this offseason, at least according to what team president Art Rooney II said after the 2013 season ended. In the past, the Steelers have extended Roethlisberger when he has had two years left on his current deal.
While the Steelers could certainly wait until next offseason to give Roethlisberger an extension, it would be wise to do it now if at all possible, as the expected number could go even higher depending on how 2014 plays out. Regardless, we will likely have to wait until training camp if it is to get done this offseason and the same goes for tight end Heath Miller, defensive end Cameron Heyward and cornerback Cortez Allen, as all of them could get contract extensions prior to the start of the 2014 season.