Currently, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has just one year remaining on the contract extension that he signed in March of 2015. Will he sign a new extension by the start of the new league year in March or at the latest, by the start of the 2019 regular season? It’s hard to say for certain as we sit here in early January and Roethlisberger didn’t hint on Wednesday during a radio interview that an extension was sure to happen anytime in the near future.
“I’ll let the process kind of unfold itself,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday morning on 93.7 The Fan when asked if he knows when he’ll sit down with the Steelers to try to work out a new deal. “If the Steelers want to talk, my agents and them, that’s what they’re paid to do. But like I said, if they want to have me, I’d love to be here.”
Last offseason, Roethlisberger made it clear that he planned on playing at least three more seasons and maybe even as many as five more. He had a career season in 2018 when it came to passing yards and touchdown passes thrown and he made it clear on Tuesday during his radio interview that he feels like he still has a lot of football left in his body when it comes to how he enters this offseason health-wise.
“I feel like I’m in as good as shape as I’ve been in in a long time and I enjoy playing this game,” Roethlisberger said. “The trainer has really made me, I think, better; put me in the best shape of my life. Probably one of the best seasons of my life and the linemen keep me healthy.”
Not only is Roethlisberger currently pleased with his overall health and how he’s playing as he enters the offseason, he also made it known on Tuesday that he really enjoyed having Randy Fichtner as his new offensive coordinator this past season.
“Absolutely,” Roethlisberger said when asked if he was comfortable with having Fichtner as the Steelers offensive coordinator in 2018. “I thought there were growing pains for us in terms of learning each other and learning situational things, and that just comes with a new position and a new guy that we communicate with and call plays with. But, man, if you look at what we did offensively, I thought it was pretty awesome in terms of moving guys around and some of the injuries we had and running back and things like that. So, I thought it was an awesome first season for Randy and I’m excited for next year with him.”
As far as a potential contract extension for Roethlisberger goes this offseason, it’s worth noting that the Steelers have in the past had him signed sealed and delivered in March in 2008 and again in 2015. Roethlisberger is also due a $5 million roster bonus in March so that’s another reason to expect that if a new contract extension is in the cards for the Steelers quarterback that it would be done in late February or early March.
If for some reason Roethlisberger isn’t signed to a new contract by the middle of March, then perhaps the Steelers plan will be to go year-to-year with him via the use of the franchise tag as I have pointed out in previous posts. We’ll have to see if Steelers team president Art Rooney II addresses a potential contract extension this offseason for Roethlisberger when he holds his annual end-of-the-season session with the local media in the coming weeks.
Roerthlisberger is currently scheduled to have a base salary of $12 million in 2019 in addition to his $5 million roster bonus that’s due him in March. His currently scheduled salary cap charge for 2019 is $23.2 million.