Over the past couple of weeks, we have heard from the Pittsburgh Steelers plenty of times concerning the fact that they want franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to retire in their uniform.
If that is truly the case, why hasn’t there been an extension done with Roethlisberger to ensure that will happen?
With all of the cost-cutting moves that came on Wednesday, you would have figured that an extension for Roethlisberger would be at the top of the list. It would be a big way to shave a chunk of money from the current payroll.
However, there hasn’t been a whisper of talks going on with Big Ben. It appears the team is content with Roethlisberger’s $18.95 million cap hit entering the 2014 season.
After three straight years of converting salary to signing bonus in order to drive down cap numbers, Roethlisberger has only two years left on his contract.
His base salary for 2014 is a mere $12.1 million, with the rest of his bloated cap number coming from the base salaries converted to bonuses in 2011, 2012 and 2013. I say mere because with his resume, and the season he is coming off, $12.1 million is a bargain for a signal-caller such as Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger deserves and wants a raise. He’s not going to take a pay cut, especially when there are quarterbacks without the pedigree of Big Ben that are making $20 million or more per year.
But the Steelers may be playing hard ball with Roethlisberger.
After last season’s trade rumors, which many speculated came directly from the Steelers, Roethlisberger was on record plenty of times as saying that he wants to retire as a Steeler.
The organization likely is using that against him as he now has no leverage against the team in contract negotiations. It’s likely as simple as the Steelers are using that to get Roethlisberger to settle for a lower-than-market value contract.
Next year, when the salary cap keeps going up and Roethlisberger’s salary drops to $11.6 million, he will be 33 and likely still without a new deal.
Roethlisberger not only deserves a new contract, but it makes sense cap-wise that the Steelers give him one.
If there was rumored tension between the two sides before, it will be interesting to see how the tension plays out if Roethlisberger doesn’t get a new deal before the season begins.