Steelers Sign Roethlisberger to Extension

The Steelers announced today that they had agreed to terms with QB Ben Roethlisberger on a contract extension. Roethlisberger was entering the final year of his contract and it was long expected that a deal would get done sometime this offseason.  No terms were released but given the Steelers have about $7 million in cap room I doubt they decreased Roethlisberger’s $18.4 millon cap charge significantly, if at all.

I would consider this the most important QB contract in the NFL since Drew Brees reached the $20 million mark in 2012. Big Ben comes from the heralded 2004 draft class that also produced Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, both of whom are in the final years of their contract’s. It is doubtful that either would consider an extension until Roethlisberger set the market for the veteran group. Roethlisberger set the same market back in 2008 when he was the first of the group to sign a new contract which eventually was jumped signficiantly by Manning in 2009.

One would guess that Roethlisberger will exceed Joe Flacco’s $20.1 million per year and possibly Matt Ryan’s $20.75 million a year unless he was willing to take a team friendly contract that ties more money to playoff performance. If he did the latter both Manning and Rivers will likely be disappointed. If he gets close to Aaron Rodgers $22 million number, expect a few more additions to the $21M plus club.

Traditionallly the Steelers do not use guarantees beyond the first year of the contract so that will make this contract interesting to break down. He had $11.6 million in non-guaranteed salary this season that will likely be included in his new guarantee. Id guess they would be aiming for a $64 million new money three year payout if he is in a position to exceed the Flacco deal. Rolling his old contract money into that it would be my guess for $76 million  in cash coming the next 4 years.

  • buk

    Flacco wasn’t over thirty when he got his new deal. Shouldn’t Ben’s deal be similar to deal Manning signed with Broncos due to age?
    Also could someone explain why the Jets would release Harvin when they could have held his rights until the 19th of March. I can’t believe gave up a 6th rd pick and paid him 7 mil dollars to release him so Rex could sign him to a 1yr deal? The Jets are much improved, but the Bills have McCoy,Watkins,Harvin and Woods and that’s a speedy offense.

    • Tyler Ferree

      The minimum spend threshold, he bumped the team to 84% for last year at the cost of a 15% sucess rate pick and the obvious money, marshall was a problem but has been much better since his diagnosis and his subsequently looking for help, Harvin is a problem child let him poison their locker room.

      • mike jones

        I’m dolphins fan. I hate the way Philbin deals with these guys. If you can’t deal with emotional athletes for 9 months out of the year, go sell suits at the Nordstrom’s. This job is not for you. Tannehill has talent, but he was all up in his head about missing Wallace. Wallace was not at fault, and got thrown under the bus and did not complain in the media while taking non stop flack for being a *problem guy*.

        Our coach Philbin similarly had Brandon Marshall traded out of town two days into the new league year like he was the new guy in prison a few days after getting the job his first year in town. Didn’t even bother trying to talk to him. Makes me sick.

        Alot of these guys get labeled as headcase black dudes because of all that stuff T.O et. al. used to do, and I don’t think its fair. B.M wasn’t that way really in miami. Neither was Wallace. And the last thing I am is Mr Social Justice Warrior. It’s just the lazy #ss media narrative.

        • Tyler Ferree

          Just a hint, this comment clinched what i had already suspected. You are a tool. You are taking media reports at face value, a little research goes a long way, Those reports played right into Sherman’s hands, his intent was to build himself into a household name, and then let his play do the rest, meanwhile the only real incident for Marshall since his diagnosis was him allegedly hitting a woman in an Manhatan club, there was 0 evidence in Manhatan where there are cameras everywhere and this predates De Blasio screwing the NYPD, the “Locker room incedents” were Marshall trying to fill a leadership void and the rest of the team throwing it back in his face. That article you sited was a joke, pure publish or perish, harvard is not a be all end all. There were secondary factors that were totally ignored, and the sample was 1/6th to 1/10 of what it needed to be to give any usable data, 8 weeks, and the lowest 8 weeks in terms of atrition no less.

  • Fan of Steel

    Buk can we stick to the topic at hand, & not go off on tangents, PLZ! The point is Ben deserved this deal! Time & again he’s sacrificed his body on the field taking some pretty vicious hits, esp from Suggs & co. Then every off-season for the past 3 years, without fail he’s been ask to restructure his contract & “offer up another pound of flesh for the good of the team.” Which he has done seemingly without protest or complaint. He has proven himself to be a true leader, & a team player. He deserves to be rewarded for the time & effort he has spent & the sacrifices he has endured. Congratulations to Ben on his new deal & hopefully to at least 1 more ring. GO BLACK & GOLD!!

    • McGeorge

      I wouldn’t pay a player based on what they “deserved”.
      I pay them based on what I think they will do over the life of their contract.

      When he restructured for the Steelers, it didn’t cost him anything. Any contract reworking would have some benefit for him as well.

      • Fan of Steel

        Very true McGeorge, & the Steelers clearly believe Ben has @ least 3-4 good seasons left. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have given him this type of deal. While I am sure he benefitted from restructuring his contract, my point is he did it FOR THE GOOD OF THE TEAM. Which is the hallmark of a TRUE leader, & which is why he will most likely wind up joining his fellow Steeler greats in Canton. So I wish him nothing but the best, & hope his future as well as That of the Steelers remains bright & full of promise. GO BLACK & GOLD

  • I’ve been guessing five-years, $96M total for this deal (or $84.4M new money over four new years, $21.1M APY). Now that the length is indeed five years, I’m anxiously awaiting the financial details. I agree that they’re not as likely to push the 2015 cap hit down as much as a lot of people seem to think; there’s just not a lot of need for it, at this point. They won’t need additional space to extend Heyward, and won’t need too much more if they want to do an extension with Beachum. And they’re still likely to get some space from whatever happens with Polamalu.

    • Fan of Steel

      Very true Ian, BOTH Heyward & Beachum need & deserve extensions. As Both have played extremely well. It will help ease the pressure this coming off-season by reducing the number of players with whom we need to negotiate, & you are correct about getting cap relief from Polamalu latest projections show the Steelers getting a minimum of $3 million regardless of what happens. Personally, I believe it’s in everyone’s best interest if he just calls it a career. I realize I MIGHT get flayed for saying that, but he just looks like he’s really slowed down these past 2 years. It’s time for the “young guns” to step up & take the regins.

  • Richard Muckle

    I’ll qualify this post by saying it has nothing to do with Roethlisberger or the Steelers but I am glad to see him rewarded for his sacrifice and dedication. This article raised a question I’ve been trying to understand. Hopefully someone can help. It mentions “playoff performance” incentives. Many contracts include performance based incentives which don’t seem to be figured into the current cap when explained. How is that money allocated if triggered by reaching a particular goal? For example if Ben reduced his current year number to $15 million while kicking another $6M into incentive goals (which he later reaches), does the entire $21M count against this year’s cap? I realize it is probably much more complicated than I described but I’m trying to wrap my arms around this because it doesn’t really seem to be “team friendly” if they have to keep cap space available to pay the incentives.
    Anyway, sorry for getting off the subject of the article. Just curious how this works.

    • Incentives in contracts are valued at the beginning of a league year to be either “likely to be earned” (LTBE) or “not likely to be earned” (NLTBE). This determination can get complicated at times, but the gist boils down to anything that the player accomplished in the previous year is LTBE, and anything else is NLTBE. At the end of the year, differences in LTBE expectations and actual earning are reconciled. If a player earned $300k more than was LTBE, then the team gets charged that amount against the cap–either against that year’s cap, if space exists to accommodate the charge, or as an adjustment against the next year’s cap, if not. And on the flip side, if a player fails to earn sums that were LTBE, the team receives a credit against the following year’s cap in that amount.

  • McGeorge

    One the one hand, thats a lot given his age.
    On the other hand, there is a shortage of even average QBs, let alone good ones.
    I would be willing to overpay a good QB, as it’s very hard to replace him.

    Would you rather have Roethlisberger at 20-25MM, or …
    Geno Smith for free.
    Thats a 6 game swing.

    • Paddy

      He’s 33

      • McGeorge

        QBs begin to decline at 35, there is a good article somewhere on advanced football analytics. 2 good years and 2 ok years, and a below average year.