Dec 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers reportedly renegotiating contract

With the Pittsburgh Steelers in terrible shape when it comes to the salary cap for the 2013 season, you can expect them to attempt to renegotiate several contracts before free agency comes along in March.

The most obvious choice is to once again turn to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to help the franchise out.

Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) slides to the ground during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

NFL.com’s Albert Breer is reporting that the Steelers and representatives for Roethlisberger have worked on renegotiating the two-time Super Bowl champion’s contract, and an agreement could come by the end week, according to a source close to the process.

Roethlisberger is scheduled to have salary-cap figure of $19.595 million in 2013, and the Steelers are currently about $14 million over the cap, which is expected to land between $122 million and $123 million for this season.

As things look at the moment, the Steelers have 10 players accounting for just over $100 million in cap space, including linebacker James Harrison, who has a 2013 cap hit of $10.035 million.

A decision still must be made on Harrison, but they can save some money in the immediate future by once again renegotiating with Roethlisberger.

The only problem there is that Big Ben will have an even bigger cap number in the final years of his deal, which Breer notes will be renegotiated, not extended, as the Steelers don’t typically extend quarterbacks until they have two years left on their deals, which means Big Ben could possibly get a new deal next season.

Either way, by continuously pushing back money to the back end of Roethlisberger’s deal, the Steelers will continue to find themselves in a bad salary cap spot, as they won’t be able to continue to renegotiate his deal.

Now that Tom Brady has renegotiated his deal with the Patriots, Roethlisberger’s cap number is the fourth highest in the NFL, behind quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.

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Tags: Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers

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