It’s going to be next offseason before Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gets a contract extension, but he and his agent have both been informed about that decision and both appear to be on board with it.
“I met with Ben shortly before we did the Maurkice Pouncey signing (in the middle of June) just to make sure Ben understood where we were with our intentions as far as a contract extension for him,” said Steelers team president Art Rooney II to Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest. “I just didn’t want him to feel like we were moving ahead with other players without any communication.
“And so I talked to Ben, and then we talked with his agent Ryan Tollner about where we are and the fact we intend on addressing Ben’s contract situation after the season, so that we could address a number of players who were going into their last year in 2014. I think Ben understands that’s our intention and the way we’d like to proceed. I think we had a good conversation.”
Rooney goes on to say that they expect the salary cap to rise once again next offseason and that that will make it even easier to get a deal done with Roethlisberger.
“We believe the cap will go up again next year,” said Rooney, “and so from a cap planning standpoint, next year will be a better situation for us to address a franchise quarterback type of contract.”
By not getting a new deal done this offseason with Roethlisberger, the quarterback’s meter is still running and should the 2014 season end with a deep run into the playoffs or even another Lombardi Trophy, the price tag will likely go even higher, which it should.
When the Steelers have previously extended Roethlisberger, they did so when he had two years remaining on his current deal. When March and April of this offseason passed without a new deal, it was a sign that there quite possibly wouldn’t be an extension this offseason.
So what’s the time frame now? We know it will be next offseason, but when? I would guess possibly sometime in March. Roethlisberger is scheduled to earn a base salary of $11.6 million in 2015, the final year of his current contract.