Almost immediately after the Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 season ended, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger let it be known that he will definitely return for the 2018 season. Not long after uttering his intentions for 2018, another report surfaced stating that Roethlisberger had told his offensive linemen that he hopes to play at least three more seasons. On Friday, center Maurkice Pouncey reportedly confirmed that report during an interview ahead of Sunday’s Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, Pouncey did indeed confirm that Roethlisberger plans to play at least three more years.
“He told us three years,” Pouncey said. “He says he wants to play out his contract so we’ll see.”
Roethlisberger’s current contract expires after the 2019 season and when Pouncey was reminded of that along with the fact that the quarterback would need to sign an extension in order to play three more seasons, he reportedly smiled and said, “that’s even better. Because I’ve only got two years left on mine.”
With the Steelers recently moving on from offensive coordinator Todd Haley and replacing him with Randy Fichtner, who has coached the team’s quarterbacks since 2010 and has been on the staff since 2007, it’s not surprising at all that Roethlisberger might be interested in playing at least three more seasons.
With Roethlisberger due a $5 million roster bonus come the start of the 2018 league year in March, and combined with the fact that he’s set to earn a base salary of $12 million next season, it would make sense to sign him to a contract extension in the coming weeks and especially if he intends on playing at least three more seasons. Such an extension could potentially lower Roethlisberger’s 2018 salary cap charge by roughly $7.5 million and that’s extra space the team could certainly use this offseason.
In short, don’t look for Roethlisberger to be retiring anytime soon and that means you should also be prepared for the Steelers to not draft another quarterback this year. You should also prepare yourself for a Roethlisberger contract extension in the coming weeks.
Speaking of Roethlisberger, the quarterback plans on wearing these custom cleats that honor the late Dan Rooney and injured teammate Ryan Shazier during Sunday’s Pro Bowl game.
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) January 26, 2018