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Salary cap details for Ben Roethlisberger’s new $68 million extension with Steelers

We take a look at how the new contract extension signed by Ben Roethlisberger will impact the Steelers salary cap

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

While the Pittsburgh Steelers move up in the 2019 NFL Draft to select Devin Bush might have been one of the more exciting things to happen to the Steelers this offseason, it would be fair to say that the most significant event of the year so far has been extending the contract of Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers star quarterback signed an extension worth a total of $68 million, a deal that also comes with a signing bonus worth $37.5 million. Now set to earn $45 million in cash in just the first year of his new contract, as per the details released by Pittsburgh salary cap expert Ian Whetstone on Friday, Roethlisberger will now cost the team an additional $3 million against the salary cap in 2019 than previously scheduled.

Originally, Roethlisberger had been due to earn a base salary of $12 million this year and a roster bonus of $5 million he was paid earlier in the month, costing a total of $23.2 million against the cap thanks to a prorated signing bonus of $6.2 million.

While the outstanding prorated signing bonus and roster bonus amounts must still be accounted for this year, the majority of his base salary for 2019 has been turned into a signing bonus. In reality, $9.5 million of the $37.5 million he will now earn as a signing bonus was actually money he was already due to earn as base salary.

In laying out these details in a for traditional format, it should be noted that is is quite likely that a portion of the base salaries in 2020 and 2021 will be paid as a roster bonus instead, but the total amount paid each year will remain the same.

The terms of the new contract make it an absolutely certainty that Big Ben will at least see the second year of this new deal, but potential cap savings of $19 million in 2021 could be attractive if an option like Mason Rudolph is ready to take over.