At this point, the expectation is that Roethlisberger's deal will be renegotiated, not extended. The Steelers' precedent has been to extend quarterbacks with two years left on their contracts, and that would mean Roethlisberger could get a new deal next offseason.
In other words, it sounds like the Steelers are only concerned about fixing their cap situation for 2013 and will worry about everything else, including a potential extension for their franchise quarterback, at this time next year.
Breer states a new agreement could be in place as early as this week, but team sources would only tell him there's nothing complete yet. Pittsburgh is dealing with a very tight cap situation and needs the extra space to upgrade its roster.
The Roethlisberger report comes one day after Peter King of Sports Illustrated broke the news that Tom Brady inked a new three-year contract extension with the New England Patriots, which helped save the team $15 million in cap room.
It's unclear at this point how much the Steelers are hoping to save by reworking Roethlisberger's deal, but he has one of the highest cap numbers for quarterbacks in the league as it stands now.
Will Big Ben lead the Steelers back to the playoffs next season?
He earned that big contract, of course. He has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories since taking over under center in 2004, and he has been one of the league's most reliable and consistent quarterbacks over that span.
That said, he still needs other key players around him in order to win titles, and the Steelers are hoping a restructured deal would help them find those pieces. They missed the playoffs after going 8-8 in the regular season.
The lackluster record was in no way Roethlisberger's fault. He passed for over 3,200 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing just eight interceptions in 13 games. And at age 30, he should still have plenty of good seasons ahead of him.
Pittsburgh hopes he'll agree to play the next one without such a major cap hit.