Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers: What Jay Cutler's new deal means for Ben Roethlisberger

With the news that the Chicago Bears gave their quarterback Jay Cutler a megadeal that will pay him an annual value of around $18 million per season, Cutler wasn’t the only one smiling about cashing in.

So was Pittsburgh Steelers franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Without a doubt Roethlisberger will be looking to cash in on a hefty extension in the offseason, especially after the productive season he had in 2013.

Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) following the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Pittsburgh won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

While trade rumors were attached to Big Ben’s name at the midway point of the season, there’s no doubting the fact that the Steelers will look to sign him to a similar deal this offseason.

First there is the fact that Roethlisberger has willingly re-negotiated his deal time and time again to help out the organization, so the Steelers will be showing their quarterback some good faith. There is also the fact that a new deal for Big Ben, loaded with money up front, could help the Steelers’ short-term salary-cap situation.

But how much will Roethlisberger get? You have to think that number will be around the $20-million mark annually.

Big Ben wants to stay in Pittsburgh and the Steelers want him here as well, that’s the number that should do the trick.

The bottom line is that the market has been set.

If Cutler is earning $18 million with not even half the resume of Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco is earning $20.1 million per season, you have to think Roethlisberger’s number will top that.

Roethlisberger has two more years on his current deal which will pay him a combined $27 million, but it is likely in the Steelers’ best interest to negotiate a new deal now. Judging by their track record you have to think a big extension is coming Big Ben’s way very soon.

He played every snap last season for the first time in his career and certainly put up solid numbers. It would benefit the team as a Roethlisberger extension, even in the $20 million per year range, would save the team some valuable cap space for this offseason.

The last time Roethlisberger was extended was during March of 2008 so that would likely be around the time when I think you will see the Steelers do something.

At the end of the day Big Ben will get paid. When that happens is the only question.

Cutler set the bar for what the Steelers will have to pay their franchise signal caller. Now it’s just a matter of opening up the checkbook.

Tags: Ben Roethlisberger Jay Cutler Pittsburgh Steelers

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