If you consider yourself a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers at all then you know that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is entering the final year of his contract. This might not sound like a big deal but it is and it’s also creating a lot of consternation among “The Nation.”
I can’t tell you how many tweets I’ve seen on my timeline in recent days about Roethlisberger’s lack of a contract extension. It’s been a hot topic and that’s saying something because it is just early February.
But then again, that’s the point.
Free agency will start on March 10th which is just about a month from now. One would think that the Steelers would like to have Roethlisberger’s extension done by then so they have a better idea of what they’ll have to spend.
I expect to see the Steelers start making some roster moves sooner rather than later and this will greatly impact how they are going to proceed with Roethlisberger.
What Art Rooney II has made clear is that the team intends to get an extension done but he’s also been clear that there is no rush. That’s fine but I don’t see this going well if a new deal isn’t in place as we approach free agency. Take that a step further. Imagine if Roethlisberger enters camp without a new deal in place.
Roethlisberger hasn’t won a playoff game since the run to Super Bowl XLV but then again Andy Dalton and Jay Cutler got massive extensions without winning jack squat.
Even with a new deal for the two-time Super Bowl champion, the Steelers will be free from salary cap hell in 2016. They could be as much as $60 million in the clear for that matter. Thus, this should not be an impediment to get a deal done.
It’s highly likely in my opinion that that Steelers will look for a deal that puts the bulk of the money up front and allows them some leeway should things not go well for Roethlisberger in terms of injury. I honestly can’t see them agreeing to anything other than that with the quarterback turning 33 years old on March 2nd.
Now for those who believe Roethlisberger may in fact never be extended, I see the argument. This is the same song and dance they gave Alan Faneca and we know how that ended up. Therefore, why is letting Roethlisberger walk idiotic?
Here’s why; because quarterbacks like this don’t grow on trees. At pick number 22 in the draft, are you really planning to get your next all-pro quarterback there? Are you thinking Bruce Gradkowski or Landry Jones are going to step in a replace Roethlisberger?
Heaven help us if this happens…
The Steelers would be foolish to let one of the top quarterbacks in the game leave. So foolish in fact I just can’t see it happening but I’ve learned to never say “never.”
The Steelers need to get this done.