Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers Agree to 3-Year Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 30:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on December 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they've agreed to a new three-year contract with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Wednesday.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Roethlisberger's new deal will pay him over $30 million in each of the first two seasons, making him a top-three highest paid quarterback in the NFL during that time. The financial details were further broken down by ESPN's Adam Schefter: 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the agreement also occurred before the team's self-imposed deadline, which was the start of the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday.

The 37-year-old has continued posting solid numbers, even later in his career, throwing for 5,129 yards, 34 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 2018 while completing 67 percent of his passes. His yards and touchdowns were career highs, while his completion percentage was his highest mark since 2015.

He also had his highest passer rating (96.5) since 2014 and his highest QBR (71.7) since 2015.

Despite Roethlisberger's big stats, however, Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of just 78.2, 15th among quarterbacks.

PFF noted:

"Finishing near the middle of the pack in overall grade in 2018, Roethlisberger didn't have the year the Steelers needed to punch a ticket for the postseason. While he did finish the year ranked fourth in big-time throw percentage (6.2), his 18th-ranked turnover-worthy throw percentage (3.11) and 23rd-ranked passer rating under pressure (60.1) did him and his teammates no favors."

Regardless of whether Roethlisberger's stats were deceptive or not, there was little doubt after the season that Big Ben would get a contract extension.       

The team's failure to reach the postseason after going 9-6-1, however, was a major disappointment and one Roethlisberger has to shoulder as much as any other member of the organization. So too was the reported late-season rift between the quarterback and wide receiver Antonio Brown that played a part in Brown's demand for a trade this offseason. Brown ended up with the Oakland Raiders.

Roethlisberger will now have to adjust to life with Brown and star running back Le'Veon Bell, two crucial playmakers in recent years. But the Steelers clearly feel he's still the man for the job.

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