With all of the moves the Pittsburgh Steelers have made this offseason and all of the money they have cleared off their current books, one thing has been missing – a new deal for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
However, while Big Ben is still without a new contract, that doesn’t mean the Steelers have given up on the idea.
According to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Steelers remain open to signing Roethlisberger to a new contract this year, but it probably wouldn’t happen until summer at the earliest.
Of course, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert also notes that it may not happen at all.
“We’ll get through free agency, get through the draft and see where we are,” Colbert said Sunday at the NFL meetings. “Traditionally we have done quarterbacks (contracts) two years out, but as (team president) Art (Rooney) stated, we may or may not be in a position to do something this summer.”
Roethlisberger is signed for the next two seasons, with base salaries of $12 million and $11 million and salary cap hits of nearly $18.9 million and $18.3 million, respectively.
The only way the Steelers will be able to lessen that cap hit in the upcoming years is to give their franchise signal-caller a new lengthy deal.
One thing that could severely hurt their efforts though is the new contracts signed by top quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan in the past couple of years. In all likelihood Roethlisberger should earn more than all three guys, which would push his base salary over $20 million per season.
That alone could be something that the Steelers may not be in position to do.