Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger Deserves Extension for His Birthday
It’s Ben Roethlisberger’s 33rd birthday and I can’t think of a better birthday present for our quarterback than a nice big fat contract extension. Sure it’s going to come eventually, but why wait any longer? The league year is right around the corner and the Steelers and Roethlisberger would both benefit from having this deal on the books before March 10th.
Roethlisberger’s contract is through the end of the 2015 season and the team is typically known for extending contracts in the final two years but last offseason the Steelers brass asked Ben to wait a year on his extension. He responded by leading the team to its best offensive production in franchise history and the first playoff berth in two years.
Now it’s time for the team to respond with the contract extension that will ensure Roethlisberger completes his NFL career with the Steelers, as both sides have contended is the ultimate goal. Roethlisberger signed an eight-year, $102 million contract in 2008 and is likely to ink another $100 million extension soon.
At 32, Roethlisberger tied for the league-lead in passing yards with 4,952 and set career highs in completion percentages and touchdowns. He had back-to-back six-touchdown games for crying out loud.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert tipped his hand when he during the NFL Scouting Combine a few weeks ago he said that he considers Roethlisberger a “franchise quarterback” and that he thinks Ben is getting better with age.
"“I really think Ben is going to be a better quarterback down the road than he is at this point. Ben is a franchise quarterback that’s getting better with age.” – Kevin Colbert"
That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for the team to try and get Ben to take a discount. They’ve already freed up some cap space with the contract restructures of Marcus Gilbert and Mike Mitchell and could free up even more space with an extension of Ben Roethlisberger.
His current cap hit for 2015 is set to be a little more than $18 million and that hit will lower with a new deal in place that is likely to include incentives and signing bonuses that spread the money around to future years as opposed to counting against the cap all at once. It doesn’t mean he’ll get any less money; it’s just how it will count against the cap.
With the Steelers having more cap room after a new contract for Roethlisberger it will benefit both the team and the quarterback. The team might be able to be more active in free agency, although they were very active last year, but with the Steelers offense at an all-time high thanks to the efforts of Ben Roethlisberger, the time to strike while the iron (or steel, rather) is hot is on and it would be wasteful to not ramp up the team with talent that can take them back to the promised land.
So Happy Birthday Ben Roethlisberger! Here’s to a long and successful future with the Pittsburgh Steelers! Get that contract done already Colbert!
Next: Steelers Free Agency: Saying Goodbye
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