Ben Roethlisberger Contract: Latest News, Rumors on Negotiations with Steelers

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Ben Roethlisberger Contract: Latest News, Rumors on Negotiations with Steelers
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Updates from Monday, July 28

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on Ben Roethlisberger's contract negotiations with the Steelers:

James C Maxwell of Pit.Scout.com adds more details:

Original Text

Ben Roethlisberger has quarterbacked the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl victories during his impressive 10-year career. Not only is he extremely consistent—the veteran has maintained a passer rating of at least 90 in all but two seasons—but he may be the most difficult quarterback to take down.

After all, Gil Brandt of NFL.com recently ranked him as the best quarterback of a solid 2004 draft class: 

With no signs of slowing down, the Steelers can be expected to lock down their franchise signal-caller with a nice contract extension. However, according to a report from Scott Brown of ESPN.com, that won't happen until after the upcoming season:

The Pittsburgh Steelers have informed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that they will not sign him to a long-term contract until after the 2014 season.

Team president Art Rooney II told Steelers.com he met with Roethlisberger last month and that the Steelers have also talked to Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger's agent, about their intention of getting a new contract done with their franchise quarterback after this season.

Why does the delayed extension talks come as a bit of a surprise? Bob Labriola of Steelers.com expanded on Pittsburgh's contract philosophy:

The Steelers' philosophy is to extend contracts that have one year to go before expiration, with the exception of quarterbacks, whose deals can be extended two years before expiring. Roethlisberger's current contract runs through the 2015 season, which made him a candidate for an extension, but circumstances—including the team's current cap situation, plus the number of players entering the final years of their deals, plus the additional increase in the salary cap anticipated next March—led the team to this strategy.

That makes quite a deal of sense for Pittsburgh. The team isn't exactly in good shape at the moment, having just over $7.5 million in available cap space, according to Spotrac.com. Also, the salary cap is expected to increase by another $10 million in 2015.

The extra cash at the Steelers' disposal could mean a lucrative extension for their signal-caller, and he's earned it.

Last season, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Roethlisberger 11th in terms of efficiency—higher than Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and more—and ninth in passer rating.

Here's what his peers in the NFL think of his play:

That's quite impressive given the ongoing period of adjustment to Todd Haley's offensive scheme and the departure of wide receiver Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins.

So this seems like a logical business decision for the Steelers, but how does Roethlisberger feel about it?

Labriola spoke with Rooney, who felt his conversation with the quarterback went well:

And so I talked to Ben, and then we talked with his agent Ryan Tollner about where we are and the fact we intend on addressing Ben's contract situation after the season, so that we could address a number of players who were going into their last year in 2014. I think Ben understands that’s our intention and the way we'd like to proceed. I think we had a good conversation.

At this time, Roethlisberger has yet to comment on the situation, but based on his conversation with Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he's only concerned about winning, saying, "I like where we are as a team. I really do. I have a really good feeling about this season."

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