Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that he feels as though he could play for another three to five seasons. The front office has confirmed on a number of occasions that this is the case and that they are quite pleased to hear that after he previously seemed to flirt with retirement.
So then why is there no movement in even discussing the possibility of the veteran quarterback receiving a modest extension? Roethlisberger is currently only under contract through the 2019 season, which happens to be earlier than three years from now.
Neither party sounds as though they are in a rush to get an extension worked on, and one might think that there should be some motivation on both sides. For the Steelers, it comes with the possibility of offering some further salary cap relief, though it’s no longer urgent after they cleared space by trading Martavis Bryant and releasing J.J. Wilcox.
And for Roethlisberger, it could be a financial thing, even an ego thing. He’s only 12th right now on the list of the highest-paid quarterbacks based on average annual compensation. While he is not going to push up against the ceiling, which Matt Ryan just set with the first $30 million per year NFL contract, he could certainly come up from $21.85 million. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are in the same position, making around $22 million with two years left in their deals.
When Roethlisberger was asked about his contract status during his recent radio appearance, he didn’t seem very interested in engaging. “That’s out of my hands”, Roethlisberger said. “We haven’t heard anything”, he said of himself and his agent, from the Steelers about interest in an extension this offseason.
General Manager Kevin Colbert said before the 2018 NFL Draft when asked about a possible extension for Roethlisberger that maybe they’ll see where they are with everything after that. Well, where they are is in a room with four quarterback, including Mason Rudolph.
“It’s kind of one of those things where if they approach us. I don’t know if I’ll talk to my agent about if he’s going to [approach the front office about an extension]. We don’t plan on it. I don’t plan on it”, Roethlisberger told his hosts.
“To me there’s more important pieces that need to be taken care of beside myself. I’ve got two years left. This one and one more so I want to go out and do the best I can”, he said. “And then to me it’s about addressing it next year, but to me if they feel like they want to talk and address it this year then we’ll obviously talk and listen”.