Staying true to what he said last year, Steelers team president Art Rooney II confirmed his plans to extend QB Ben Roethlisberger during this off-season. While the Steelers have been known to extend their quarterbacks typically two years before their contracts expire, Art Rooney II told Ben Roethlisberger last year that they planned to extend him after the 2014 season.
“The sooner the better,” said Rooney in a meeting with local media this morning when asked when they wanted to extend Roethlisberger. While making it clear that it was a priority, Rooney refused to put a time table on the new deal.
“Obviously we would like to get it done this offseason, and I think it’s fair to say the sooner the better,” said Rooney via Bob Labriola, “but I’m not going to put any particular time frame on these things.
It’s kind of hard to predict how long it takes to get something done, but we certainly want to get something done this offseason. That’s for sure. It takes two to tango when it comes to contract negotiations. I’m not expecting a problem, but again, I hate to put predictions on those kinds of things.”
Last year, the Steelers believed the cap would go up in 2015 (which it will), and that played a large part in their decision to hold off on extending Roethlisberger.
“We believe the cap will go up again next year,” said Art II last year, “and so from a cap planning standpoint, next year will be a better situation for us to address a franchise quarterback type of contract.”
It’s hard to say exactly how Ben’s new deal will be structured. After having coming off a career season, his value definitely went up. I wouldn’t expect his 2015 cap number to change dramatically one way or the other, though. Roethlisberger’s slated to carry a cap number of $18,395,000 in 2015.