2015 Salary Cap

Projected Breakdown Of Ben Roethlisberger’s New Contract Based On Media Reports

Throughout the day Saturday, several bits and pieces in regard to numbers associated with the new contract signed Friday by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have been reported on Twitter by both Albert Breer of the NFL Network and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. While these numbers should be in no way regarded as the official numbers, it gives us something to play with until the “real” numbers are known.

For starters, we know that this new deal that Roethlisberger signed runs though the 2019 season. In addition to that, Breer is now reporting that the Steelers quarterback received a $31 million signing bonus with $65 million coming in the first three years of the contract.

La Canfora reported that Roethlisberger’s 2015 scheduled cap charge dropped by a little over $1 million. Prior to the new deal, Roethlisberger was scheduled to have an $18.395 million cap charge of which $6.795 million was previous bonus amortization.

If indeed all of these bits of information are correct, and that’s a dangerous assumption, we can estimate what the first three years of the contract “might” look like.

For starters, we need the first three years of base salaries and the $31 million signing bonus to total out at $65 million. In addition, we need Roethlisberger’s first-year cap charge to drop a little more than a million from what it was originally scheduled to be.

Now, Breer reports that Roethlisberger has a first year roster bonus, but he does not indicate what that will be. Let’s assume that he was given a $1 million base salary in 2015 and a $3 million roster bonus for a total of $4 million. When you add that to $6.795 million previous proration still on the books in 2015, in addition to the new $6.2 million signing bonus portion proration, you get a 2015 cap charge of $16.995 million. That number is $1.4 million less than it was originally scheduled to be prior to the new contract.

Now, we need $30 million more in base salaries to equal the $34 million that Roethlisberger will receive in the first three years of the reported $65 million. To achieve that, let’s put him down for a base of $14 million in 2016 and a base of $16 million in 2017. Giving him those base salaries would result in cap charges of $20.2 million in 2016 and $22.2 million in 2017.

Those first three years aren’t likely to be the exact numbers, but we’ve achieved $65 million in cash (base salaries + first year roster bonus + full signing bonus) over the first three years and lowered Roethlisberger’s originally scheduled 2015 cap charge just over a million dollars.

To get to the full $99 million base value of the contract, we will give Roethlisberger base salaries in 2018 and 2019 of $16.5 million and $17.5 million respectively as that totals out to be $34 million. His cap charges with those base salaries would be $22.70 million and $23.70 million respectively.

Now, we also still do not know what the escalators will be that give Roethlisberger that ability to earn the total $108 million that Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported. We should, however, learn what those are very soon, along with the “real” numbers.

Please remember, these are only estimations based on what is being reported by these three members of the media and all of the numbers that I have used aren’t likely to be the exact amounts.

YEAR BASE SALARY ROSTER BONUS SIGNING BONUS PREVIOUS BONUS CAP CHARGE
2015 $1,000,000 $3,000,000 $6,200,000 $6,795,000 $16,995,000
2016 $14,000,000 $0 $6,200,000 $0.00 $20,200,000
2017 $16,000,000 $0 $6,200,000 $0.00 $22,200,000
2018 $16,500,000 $0 $6,200,000 $0.00 $22,700,000
2019 $17,500,000 $0 $6,200,000 $0.00 $23,700,000
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