The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Ben Roethlisberger’s extension be put off into the summer?
The Pittsburgh Steelers no longer have any pressing reason to complete Ben Roethlisberger’s extension in light of the fact that his roster bonus has already been picked up. General Manager Kevin Colbert yesterday talked about the significant of this deal as likely the final one the quarterback will receive, so they are not going to rush things.
The only possible motivation to getting it done earlier would be the prospects of other deals getting done. The most significant this offseason figures to be Russell Wilson’s, who could possible receive the largest-ever contract in NFL history, but while Roethlisberger is surely due for a raise, it’s unlikely that he would push his way to the top of the market as Aaron Rodgers did.
The 37-year-old is coming off one of his best seasons, through for career-highs in touchdowns and yardage, going over 5000 yards. His 34 touchdowns is both a personal and franchise best, but it was countered with 16 interceptions, the second-most of his career, the only worse season being the cursed 2006 season that included a motorcycle accident and an appendectomy, among other issues.
But there is no immediate need for the Steelers to clear any salary cap space. While they may need to make a bit of room later, they can do that as they go. And they will soon save about $3 million after roster displacement with the trade or release of Morgan Burnett, anyway.
The Steelers get the majority of their contract extensions done between June and August, especially when it comes to the bigger deals. Don’t be surprised if we see an extension for head coach Mike Tomlin get done around the same time. Also, don’t shoot the messenger.