Get ready to access your salt dispensers because you’re going to need to take a grain or two for this one, as should always be implied when talking about something that is pulled for a comment made off the cuff in the midst of a live chat session.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a tight spot with respect to the salary cap. One way or another, the team is still going to have to make a financial move or two, if not more, to address their lack of cap space while creating a cushion to work with entering the season to make necessary or predictable moves.
One of the options that they could have available to them is working out a minor extension for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who now removed from the doldrums of retirement consideration seems ready and eager to take on the next few years. While this is not something that he has yet said publicly, holding onto the ‘one year at a time’ routine, people like Art Rooney II and Kevin Colbert have already talked about it.
Gerry Dulac was asked during his chat yesterday for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette if he thinks Roethlisberger would offer the team any sort of discount on a contract, and how many years he might get. In his response, he implied that he believes an extension will be done this year.
“I think they will extend his final two years into a four-year deal”, he wrote in response to the questioner. Roethlisberger is in the third year of a four-year extension that he signed in 2015. Since signing that deal, of course, quarterback contracts have exploded, breaking and then plowing beyond the $25 million a year barrier.
Roethlisberger’s four-year extension paid him an average of about $22 million in new money. He has cap hits of $23.2 million in each of the next two seasons that include $5 million roster bonuses in each year and base salaries of $12 million.
The prospect of a contract extension for Roethlisberger is one that has been addressed publicly this offseason. As recently as in late March, Colbert said during an interview that he would like to get through the draft and see where the team stands before he wants to focus on that possibility. He talked in similar terms about negotiations with Le’Veon Bell being on the back burner.
Signing a modest extension with Roethlisberger would be one of the most efficient and beneficial ways that the Steelers could get a bit of cap relief to get them through the season, and personally would be my preferred means of doing so.
Quarterback contracts are also not getting any cheaper, so I would like to see it done sooner rather than later. There are some other notable quarterbacks actually or potential due an extension this offseason as well.