If you missed it, Cutler was awarded a seven-year, $126 million contract with about $50 million of that guaranteed.
I’m not going to get into the particulars of a comparison between Roethlisberger and Cutler because it wouldn’t be a fair fight. Cutler has one playoff win and Roethlisberger has….. Many more than one how’s that?
The Steelers have set their own precedent in terms of working with their quarterbacks. Past history indicates the Steelers like to re-structure quarterback deals when there are two years left on said QB’s deal.
Wouldn’t you know it? Ben Roethlisberger has two years left.
My suggestion to Kevin Colbert, Art Rooney II and company would be to get their heads out of the clouds and get a new deal done for Roethlisberger now rather than later. Besides Cutler, fellow AFC North quarterback Joe Flacco recently signed a deal worth $120 million. In fairness, his numbers are significantly closer to Roethlisberger’s than Cutler’s are but let’s not get crazy with that comparison either.
The longer the two sides sit without a new deal, the worse things will get. Keep in mind both sides had to deal with the report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport that the Steelers and Roethlisberger were ready to part ways at this season’s end.
Should the two sides go well into the spring and summer without a new deal, speculation will only heighten as to whether the report by Rapaport had any merit or not. Roethlisberger and his agent Ryan Tollner have made it clear throughout the season that Ben wants to stay in Pittsburgh.
This certainly wouldn’t be the first time a player and agent have said one thing while wishing for another but I don’t see this in that way. I believe Roethlisberger is sincere in his desire to remain a Steeler. Wouldn’t be the first time I’m wrong if he plays somewhere else in 2014 but I don’t see it happening.
The Steelers are coming off of back to back 8-8 seasons. That is not acceptable in Pittsburgh but radical change is not expected either.
Getting Roethlisberger’s deal done soon is important for not only the team but for the quarterback and the fans as well. How much a new deal is ultimately worth will be up to Tollner and the Steelers’ front office but let’s assume number seven deserves far more than what Flacco or Cutler have though right?
Don’t be surprised if Roehtlisberger’s deal isn’t that high though. I believe he is far less concerned with being the highest paid guy and more concerned with having a team that can win Super Bowls. These new QB deals are hamstringing teams and their ability to sign other top players. I’ll be shocked if Roethlisberger does such a deal. Entering his 11th season in 2014, he won’t have too many left. Getting back the Super Bowl is what’s most important to him and he can’t do that without a good supporting cast.
Letting this thing linger is not wise. The normally patient Steelers’ brass should make an exception and get Roethlisberger’s deal done now.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.