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ESPN.com Insider ranks Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's contract 3rd among veteran QBs

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Ben Roethlisberger was the recipient of a shiny new contract this past off-season. ESPN.com Insider recently ranked 18 veteran QB contracts, and they have 'Big Ben' as the 3rd in terms of value.

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When the Pittsburgh Steelers extended Ben Roethlisberger's contract this off-season, not many people were griping about the deal. As Roethlisberger and team President Art Rooney II both stated, the deal seemed "fair" for both sides. After all, the Steelers were keeping the quarterback who has been to three Super Bowls, and won them two, and Roethlisberger was paid handsomely for his work, all while staying with the team who drafted him in 2004.

As a new class of quarterbacks is preparing to hit their big pay day, ESPN.com's Insider ranked 18 veteran quarterback contracts valued at a minimum of $9 million dollars a year. Roethlisberger is ranked third on the complied list. See what ESPN.com Insider has to say about Roethlisberger and his current status with his new contract:

3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Contract ranks: 2nd APY, 7th true guarantee, 1st three-year APY

Three-year Total QBR: 63.7 (10th)

Roethlisberger has become the driving force behind the Steelers' success, now that the defense has fallen off considerably. His deal is expensive but still good value for a quarterback who showed last season that he could put up dominant numbers to carry a team.

Words and phrases like 'dominant' and 'carry a team' were rarely used when describing Roethlisberger in the first half of his career. More often than not, 'game manager' and 'beneficiary of a good defense' were how people described Roethlisberger. However, his game has changed and he has proven he is worth back-to-back $100 million dollar contracts.

If Roethlisberger is ranked 3rd, you might be wondering who tops the list? Here is ESPN.com's top 10 in terms of veteran quarterbacks and their current contracts:

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
5. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
6. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
7. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
8. Eli Manning, New York Giants
9. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
10. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Roethlisberger is finally getting the credit Steelers fans have been clamoring for since he helped the team win Super Bowl XL, and as he gains credit and accolades for his play on the field he only proves his worth and value to a franchise which relied on Tommy Maddox before Roethlisberger took the helm on the fateful day in Baltimore in 2004.