Yesterday when we posted about the possibility of a Ben Roethlisberger holdout it caused a bit of a firestorm on twitter regarding the topic of Ben and a new contract. For good reason.
Ben Roethliseberger’s contract will determine the direction of the Steelers team for the foreseeable future.
Personally I’d like to see a decision made sooner rather than later but I expect it not to really heat up until next Spring.
I’ve heard people say a lot over the years that the Steelers don’t worry about contracts given out by other teams when they’re in negotiations.
Steelers nation shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the Steelers are somehow immune to those dreaded two words… market value.
The Steelers have handed out plenty of big money contracts over the years.
In 2012 the Steelers handed Antonio Brown a 5 year, 42.5 million dollar contract. This was just a few months after DeSean Jackson signed for 5 years 51 million.
Brown got slightly less, but at that point Brown only had one 1000 yard season and Jackson had a few and was a 2-time pro bowler. I’d say that the Steelers paid about market value for Brown (who at the time wasn’t a sure-thing to become the receiver he has).
In 2011 LaMarr Woodley got 6 years, 61.5 million around the same time Tamba Hali received 5 years, 60 million. Woodley’s was spread out over an extra year but Hali received much more guarunteed (35 mil) than Woodley did (22.5).
The point is the Steelers historically pay their own guys handsomely, and in the ballpark of market value.
Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Matt Stafford, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers.
That’s who makes more than Ben Roethlisberger.
That’s pretty black and white to me. The Steelers are not going to convince Ben’s agent that he should make less than Matt Ryan and his 1-4 playoff record.
Ben absolutely deserves to be paid somewhere between 20-25 million per season… That’s not debatable.
Ben has shown throughout his career that he wants to win, so it’s possible he works with the team to construct something that would allow them some cap room.
Tom Brady is about the only guy I can think of that’s given a hometown discount though. Unfortunately Mrs. Roethlisberger doesn’t bring in $42 million a year like Tom’s wife does.
Steeler nation shouldn’t hate Ben for that either. It’s about respect as much as it is money. Ben’s earned that payday.
I also wouldn’t blame the Rooneys if they don’t want to pay though. If they’re not willing to pay Ben what he’s worth they should absolutely explore trade options.
That ship has sailed at this point, but it’s a strong quarterback class in the 2015 class with Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Brett Hundley. Spring of 2015 would be the best time to shop Ben.
My personal opinion is that the Steelers should pay Ben, and cross their fingers that the young guys like Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier, Shamarko Thomas, etc. reach their full potential and play at a high level while still on rookie contracts.
Regardless of what the front office decides, they need to make a big move in one direction or the other.