Big Ben Roethlisberger Agrees to Contract Extension with Pittsburgh Steelers

Warren SicilianoCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2008

Ben Roethlisberger has agreed to a reported six-year, $102 million contract extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Reportedly, $36 million is guaranteed and would keep Roethlisberger with the Steelers a total of eight more years.  Steeler fans are ecstatic about the arrangement keeping their Pro-Bowl caliber, Super Bowl-winning quarterback in the Steel City.

The timing of this agreement is no coincidence.  Alan Faneca, the Pro Bowl left tackle, just signed a major contract with the New York Jets.  It was rumored that Roethlisberger was waiting until the Steelers tried to sign Faneca before working out his deal.

In fact, Roethlisberger has said that he wanted Faneca to return to the Steelers this season, and some even speculated that he would re-work his deal in order that the Steelers might increase Faneca’s offer.

Of course with Faneca now definitively a Jet, it was time for Roethlisberger and his agent to get this mega deal done.

The Steelers did not hold back in these negotiations, as they were accused of doing with Faneca.  Roethlisberger is now one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

The Steelers historically find "diamonds in the rough," or players who are off the national radar, to take the place of players lost to free agency.  One example was the loss of OL Joey Porter to the Dolphins, where the Steelers picked up the relatively unknown James Harrison, who has filled in well.

Also, when they found a little known rookie free agent named Willie Parker, well, we all know what he has done.

Now the Steelers must recover similarly from the loss of Faneca and protect Roethlisberger's blind side, or the Steelers will suffer through another season of multiple-sack games.  This could ultimately shorten Roethlisberger's career.

For now, though, all is upbeat in the Steel City and around the country.  Pittsburgh Steeler fans everywhere: Rejoice!