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.