Steelers president Art Rooney II talked to a few reporters on Wednesday, and while most of it was the usual Steeler chatter as the offseason begins, there was one thing that caught most peoples ears.
The team will give a contract extension to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger so that he can retire as a member of the Steelers.
“We’ve got to have Ben retire as a Steeler,” Rooney said Wednesday. “There’s no doubt about that.”
There was some question about how the team was going to handle Big Ben’s deal, as he will turn 32 in two months, and has two years left on a deal he inked in 2008 that will in the end pay him $102 million.
From the tone of Rooney’s statement, the team will be aggressive in trying to get a deal done so not to have to get in a bidding war with another team that could try and lure Roethlisberger away as a potential free agent.
“When both sides are able to come together on an extension. I don’t know when that will be, but there’s no doubt we look at Ben as somebody who’s going to be here for the long term and hopefully five or more years,” Rooney said.
Ben once again proved his worth this season, as he started every game, and while he got off to a somewhat slow start, by seasons end he again was great, throwing for over 4,000 yards.
He also seemed by seasons end to embrace the no-huddle offense and the offense of Todd Haley, who was being pushed out of Pittsburgh after 8 weeks, but by the end of the year many felt he deserved to return for 2014.
The move to get Ben to agree to a new deal is a no-brainer. He’s the second best QB in the history of the franchise, and many think he is the best QB all-time for the Steelers.
Don’t mess around, get a deal done for Ben as soon as possible. Otherwise you risk losing him to and looking awful in the process.