While the Pittsburgh Steelers face a busy offseason with a number of notable players facing free agency and several key starters entering their final year under contract, none of the new deals signed this offseason will impact the team’s salary cap more than a potential extension for Ben Roethlisberger.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Steelers have already begun negotiations with their star quarterback on the final multi-year extension of his career. When speaking on a conference call to a group of Steelers Unite members, Art Rooney II revealed that discussions about a new contract were already underway with Roethlisberger's representatives.
“Ben has one more year left on his existing contract and we’ve already started talking to him and his representative about extending that contract. I think that Ben has some good years left. He’s still, I would say, close to being in the prime of his career and now that we see quarterbacks around the league that are playing into their 40’s, I am not sure there is any reason why Ben can’t play for several more years. So we are looking forward to that.”
Set to earn a base salary of $12 million in 2019 and due a $5 million roster bonus around March 15, it should be expected that Pittsburgh will aim to have a new deal in place long before his roster bonus is due to avoid complications. Regardless of whether Big Ben intends playing another four years, it is also likely that the deal will be similar in length to the one he signed in 2015 to help soften the blow of the sizable signing bonus it will most certainly come with.
Having earned a total of $189,229,882 from three contract he signed with Pittsburgh through 15 seasons, perhaps the biggest question about Big Ben’s next deal will be how much of a hometown discount he is willing to give, if at all. Leading the league in passing yards only supports Roethlisberger’s cause to still be paid as one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, a title that comes with a price tag of around $28 - $30 million a year these days based on the figures being paid to some of his peers.