Timing Of Contract Extension For Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Still Up In The Air

Earlier in the offseason, Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II said that while the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be extended this offseason, there’s no guarantee that it will get done until next offseason. On Sunday at the NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando, FL, general manager Kevin Colbert reiterated what his boss said several months ago.

“We’ll get through free agency, get through the draft and see where we are,” Colbert said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Traditionally we have done quarterbacks (contracts) two years out, but as (team president) Art (Rooney) stated, we may or may not be in a position to do something this summer.”

In addition to updating the timeframe of a possible Roethlisberger extension, Colbert also said that previous deals that other quarterbacks have signed over the course of the last year won’t dictate how the Steelers handle things when it comes to their franchise signal caller this time around.

“What happens in the market, you’re aware of what’s going on but it doesn’t set the parameters,” Colbert said. “I believe the parameters that are set are set by the team and the player, what we would be willing to do and what the player is willing to accept.

“Sure, they know what so and so makes, but it’s finding a common ground between two parties is what we’re concerned about, not so much being in compliance with the league (and what other teams are doing).”

The Steelers don’t usually get extensions done with players until training camp gets underway, however, in the case Roethlisberger’s last extension, that took place in March of 2008 when the former first-round draft pick signed a six-year extension that included more than $36 million guaranteed. That current contract expires after the 2015 season.

While it seems that most in the fan base don’t believe a Roethlisberger extension will get done this offseason, it might be in the Steelers best interest to do it now as opposed to next offseason. They can still give him the going rate of $21-22 million per year in new money and clear roughly $3-4 million in cap space in 2014 in the process.

There’s still several months to go until the start of the 2014 season, but I wouldn’t expect anything to happen until the team gets to training camp. Once camp does get underway, you can bet that Roethlisberger’s contract status will be discussed quite a bit by the major and local medias.

  • Tom

    Sure would be nice if they could get it done sooner than later, enabling them to make some above minimum offers to free agents.

  • Michael Pearce

    Theres a good chance Ben is playing his last two years in Pittsburgh.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Deplete his weapons and go often and early drafting defensive players in the draft. Great way to get him at a discount, next year. So they go 6-10 this year, does anyone really think they really are contenders anyways?

  • pittsburghjoe

    Great point! They can only hold Gradkowski and Landry Jones back for so long. Everyone knows they are the future.

  • Steve

    Ben is 32 right now, when the current contract expires he will be 34, how many years does he have left? Ben has had some rough years and took some beatings. With our current offensive, to keep Ben upright in short passes, it should prolong how many years he has left and weather Ben will get another contract.

  • Louis Goetz

    Ben’s a lifer. Maybe, just maybe he plays out the last few years of his career somewhere else like Montana, Favre and Warner did in the event the Steelers find a new franchise QB after Ben’s skills diminish. He’s not over the hill by any stretch of the imagination and is still in the prime of his career. The only way he plays somewhere else is if he’s done but refuses to retire and it’ll be 5-6 years before we’re looking at that kind of situation, if it all.

  • Pete Johnson

    Colbert setting the stage and trying to put pressure on Ben to take a below market deal already. And I would bet conversations have already taken place, and the two sides are way apart right now, which is the real reason why the extension might not get done this year. Because otherwise there is not one good reason why it shouldn’t get done, if they do in fact want Ben to be a Steeler for life. The market rates for franchise QB’s is what it is. Pay it and stop trying to angle for an under market deal. If the extension does not get done this year this is on the team and not the player. And if it doesn’t get done in 2014, I will have my doubts whether Ben is really in the long(er) term plans for this team.

  • Smashmouth

    if it’s between My Franchise player, a B grade QB and a long shot rookie to be my signal caller in 2015 quess i’d stay with Ben just sayin

  • NW86

    “They can still give him the going rate of $21-$22M/yr and clear roughly $3-4M in cap space in 2014 in the process.”
    The way to do that, of course, would be to give him a large signing bonus and decrease his 2014 salary. This adds a lot of new bonus proration onto Ben’s cap numbers for future years. The only way I see this being worth it is if it happens very soon, while the Steelers are short on cap space and still looking for a couple free agents. And Colbert has basically said above that they are not working on that now. Otherwise, they have another $8M in space coming June 1, so I see very little upside to doing that and a lot of potential downside (leaving them with a lot of dead money if Ben’s career would happen to get cut short after 2015 or 2016 due to an injury, or leaving them with too high of cap figures for him if his skills start to diminish at that time).

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Yeah that would be nice but i think they are going to wait to camp to extend ben they will use that swvings to sign our draft picks

  • steeltown

    Get it done now. They could use the extra cap to help sign players.. we are obviously interested in 2-3 players out there right now, DE Carrington, LB Moats, and RBs Jones-Drew and Blount and it would be nice to get 2 out of 3 of these guys signed before the draft. I’d rather extend Ben then have to restructure more players that have already ben restructured once or twice before.

  • steeltown

    Yea but they already have the june designation money coming which is more than enough, we may need more cap space now to possibly lure Carrington and a decent RB

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I agree and hope they do exactly that but we are talking steelers and more than likely are gonna wait till that 8 mill is freed to sign whatever is left in FA like they always do

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    They also like to keep a couple of mil going into the season for emergency signings in case of injury

  • Rob Dove

    We have no idea how many years Ben has left. He could be gone this year with an injury either contact or something like his arm wearing out. He is at the age that it is tough to recover from injury for most players and he is also at the age where one could begin to start seeing his game drop off due to wear and tear. It is not smart to extend him long term at this point and then have an injury that he will not have time to recover from and play after recovery. Think of the cap mess the Steelers would be in if they toss a big contract his way and he gets hurt or his arm goes.