Less than a week after his boss Art Rooney II said that they will give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a new deal after this season, Steelers’ General Manage Kevin Colbert has now stated the same thing.
“I don’t see any circumstance where Ben won’t finish his career here,” said Colbert.
Citing the fact that Steelers are about $6 million under the cap and that the cap is expected to rise significantly again next season, Colbert believes after this season is the best time to get a new deal for Roethlisberger.
As I said in the case of ARII’s statement last Friday, when you put out statements such as this, you put your reputation on the line not just in general but also as the fans see the team. The Steelers have long prided themselves on doing things the ‘right’ way in terms of running a football franchise and part of that is being accountable to the fans.
It is likely the team could still be working on long-term deals for Cortez Allen, Marcus Gilbert or even Jason Worilds. I expect one of those, Allen is my bet, to get done before the end of camp.
While ARII is the team president and has the last name most synonymous with the Steelers’ organization to support him when right or wrong, Colbert does not have such liberty. His recent failures in terms of the NFL Draft already haunt him in the eyes of many Steelers’ fans and if Ben Roethlisberger ends up elsewhere in 2015 he’ll have more to answer for than will Art Rooney II.
Despite a lot of writing on the wall that gives me deep concern that this might not come to pass, I still believe the Steelers are happy with where Roethlisberger is in both his professional and personal life. I will therefore remain optimistic that a year from now we will be talking about Big Ben’s new deal rather than something far more sinister.
Either way, Colbert has now thrown out his comments on the issue and he understands the risk as well as anyone.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on Trib-Live Radio.