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Report: Steelers hope to have new deal done with Ben Roethlisberger before draft begins

It would appear that the Steelers are still working on an extension with their star quarterback as they prepare for the start of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

While the Pittsburgh Steelers are focused on the 2019 NFL Draft, it would appear that they have not lost sight of some of the other pressing business they need to attend to this year. A new contract for Ben Roethlisberger was among the team’s priorities this offseason and it seems they might finally be close to getting a deal done with the draft less than 48 hours away.

As per multiple reports released on Tuesday, the Steelers are hopeful of having Big Ben signed to a long-term extension before Thursday night.

Set to earn a base salary of $12 million in 2019 and a roster bonus of $5 million that was due earlier in the month, Roethlisberger currently has a salary cap hit of $23.2 million thanks to a prorated signing bonus accounting for another $6.2 million.

Given the market for top quarterbacks these days, it would be a surprise if Roethlisberger’s new deal did not average around $30 million a year, a figure that might not leave much room to create any significant amount of additional cap space this year, despite Fowler's suggestion. Russell Wilson is currently the league’s highest paid quarterback earning an average of $35 million a year, closely followed by Aaron Rodgers at $33.5 million and Matt Ryan at $30 million. Kirk cousins is fourth in the NFL with an average of $28 million a season.

The four year extension Roethlisberger signed in 2015 pays him an average of $21.85 million a year and is set to expire at the end of this season.