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View Full Version : Money Matters: Big Ben, Big Bank



DIESELMAN
12-18-2007, 01:26 AM
Among the few unfortunate consequences for an NFL team that finds the ever-elusive franchise quarterback is the eventual need to pay him.

http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/47/476584.jpg

Along with the attention, accolades, and grief associated with the position comes buckets of cash. And as each Steelers victory casts his 2006 season more firmly as an aberration, Ben Roethlisberger creeps closer to his turn at the ATM machine.

Roethlisberger will have earned a total of about $18 million over his first four professional seasons. That's a bargain rate for any starting quarterback, let alone one who delivers the best rookie season at the position ever witnessed, and follows that up with a championship in his second year. Rookie contracts don't last forever, though, and with Roethlisberger slated to consume around $17 million in cap dollars over the next two years, next off-season presents the likely target for a long-term extension.

Market value for a top ten quarterback currently ranges between $10 million and $14 million per year. Peyton Manning set the bar in 2004 when he signed his seven-year, $98 million deal with a $34.5 million signing bonus, and a whopping $45.7 million paid out over the first three years. Tom Brady brought the market back down to earth when he accepted a six-year, $57.9 million deal a year later with $26.5 million in guaranteed bonuses and a $37.8 million three-year payout. Cincinnati settled somewhere between the two when they tore up Carson Palmer's rookie deal in favor of a ten-year, $122.5 million pact with $24 million in guaranteed bonuses and $41.75 million over three.

More recently, Drew Brees landed a six-year, $60 million deal on the open market with $30 million paid over the first three years. That deal featured just $8 million in literally-guaranteed money, but his MVP-caliber 2006 season convinced New Orleans to exercise a $12 million option on the five remaining years. Just this past off-season, Marc Bulger signed a six-year extension with the Rams totaling $65.05 million in new money, with $27.5 million in various guarantees and $31 million paid out over three years.

Jerry Jones could have thrown a monkey wrench into any negotiations with Roethlisberger by handing Tony Romo a monster contract, but at $67.5 million over six years, with $30 million guaranteed—most of it guaranteed base salaries—the mid-season accord they reached in Dallas only re-affirmed Bulger's numbers as the going rate. Romo and his agent enjoyed strong negotiating position with Dallas, as he stood poised to enter free agency after this year. The quarterback took a page out of Brady's book, however, and declined to push for maximum dollars.

While Roethlisberger boasts a stronger résumé than Romo, and might be expected to command more money, the Steelers retain a few factors in their favor. First, the Rooneys don't show an affinity for writing checks just to show off their deep pockets, and agents must know that they're not going to land an inflated windfall just because the owners like to make headlines. More than that, two years remaining on Roethlisberger's existing deal make for pretty good leverage. It would take payment of an $8 million bonus after the 2008 season to secure 2009, but that's still less prohibitive than the franchise tag, and less incentive for the player to ride things out to the open market.

It's probably going to take about the same $11 million a year that Bulger and Romo got to lock up Roethlisberger. Troy Polamalu, currently the team's highest-paid player, makes just 60% of that annual average, so the young signal-caller stands poised to become the richest player in team history by a pretty wide margin. The Steelers have a knack for getting these deals done with fewer guaranteed dollars, but sometimes that results in shorter contracts than other organizations hand out to marquee players. I could envision a five-year, $55 million deal with $19 million in guarantees fitting the bill.

You can count on a few standard practices with the Steelers' bigger contracts. Big bonus money tends to be split over the first two years, rather than paid as a lump-sum signing bonus. The first year will feature a low base salary, but in this case the higher cap value presented by Roethlisberger's existing deal for 2008—around $7 million, depending on his performance this season—could prompt them to pay out some of the guarantees as a first-year roster bonus. A $4 million roster bonus combined with an $8 million signing bonus and a $750,000 base salary in 2008 would amount to a first-year cap hit of $7.52 million, factoring in leftover prorations from the rookie deal. That's a very manageable increase, and the Steelers project to have some cap room to spare next year.
Follow that with a guaranteed $7 million option bonus in 2009, and you've got your $19 million in guaranteed bonuses. Pay some combination of roster bonuses and base salaries over the subsequent four years totaling $5.25 million, $8 million, $10 million, and $12 million, and you've hit $55 million over five years, with $25 million paid out over the first two and $33 million over three. Cap hits for the four subsequent years under such a structure would run $9.77 million, $11.35 million, $13.35 million, and $15.35 million.
Roethlisberger won't come cheaply, any way they slice it, but a shrewd organization like the Steelers must surely recognize the value of the position and the quality of the player, and find a number that works for all parties. For a team committed to building through the draft—and no organization in football adheres to that philosophy more stringently than Pittsburgh—letting a franchise player at a marquee position slip away simply isn't an option.

By Ian Whetstone
SteelCityInsider.com


We all know he'll be resigned, but for how much?

K Train
12-18-2007, 01:28 AM
he'll get a deal that mirrors romos

BlitzburghRockCity
12-18-2007, 06:34 AM
he'll get a deal that mirrors romos

That's what I'm thinking as well. Word is that they are going to work on an extension during this offseason for Ben and get that done and out of the way. It may mean restructuring some deals for other big players like Ward, Smith, and Taylor but I don't see that being a problem.

dick rasile
12-18-2007, 10:30 AM
We all know he'll be resigned, but for how much?
I'll tell you how I feel. I think that the league needs to remove the cap and allow the cost of the product the owners are selling to reach it's own competitive level. Isn't this what Regan and the business world told us years ago. We are in the heart of a corporate lead world with the NFL falling way behind.
All professional sporting events need to be on "PAY TO VIEW", it has to happen sooner or later so why wait. Forget the fans, they are not important as they used to be. The NFL is not building a league, they have a great product and should be raking in as much money as they can.
I like to see every game broadcast and allow the fans to pick the game they want to watch.

yinzer
12-18-2007, 10:44 AM
they better pay him what he deserves. he's the first franchise qb since bradshaw and the only reason why we're 9-5 and not 5-9. the rooney's may be cheap but they're not idiots.

AZ_Steeler
12-18-2007, 11:43 AM
I think it will be slightly more than Romo unless of course he can pull off a SB win this year... Ben doesn't seem like the type that would try and screw around with the numbers and demand more... he'll fair as long as the Rooney's are fair to him.

yinzer
12-18-2007, 01:19 PM
I think it will be slightly more than Romo unless of course he can pull off a SB win this year... Ben doesn't seem like the type that would try and screw around with the numbers and demand more... he'll fair as long as the Rooney's are fair to him.

i agree with all of that. but, there WILL come a time when ben says to himself that he is worth a lot of money and should demand it. as far as what he should get paid... he should get paid what every other top qb in the league is getting paid. he's better than romo. what kind of track record does romo have? what has he done, really? i'm just saying...

Black@Gold Forever32
12-18-2007, 05:07 PM
Just give Ben his new contract now..lol He has proven to bounce back from his terrible 2006 and is the future of this franchise......

BlitzburghRockCity
12-18-2007, 05:41 PM
If there was ever a player that deserves to be paid fairly it's Ben. He is the first franchise QB we've had since Bradshaw and definitely the best since Terry as well. If all those other Steelers players can get the extensions to their deals for big money then Ben certainly deserves it.

yinzer
12-18-2007, 09:39 PM
i hope he keeps up the good work once he gets PAID!!!

Hawk Believer
12-18-2007, 09:46 PM
i hope he keeps up the good work once he gets PAID!!!
Thats what we said about Shawn Alexander...:banging:

Iron City South
12-18-2007, 10:11 PM
he'll get a deal that mirrors romos


He'll get more than Romo. Not a lot more, but definately more. Romo never led his team to a ring, Ben has. Like the article stated, Ben boasts a stronger résumé than Romo. Ben's agent will also be negotiating from a position that

A) He's been starting 4 years at a bargan basement price
B) He's going to be the NFL Comeback Player of the Year
C) He's considered among the league's A-List of QB's and now attained Pro-Bowl status.

SteelersfaninPhilly
12-18-2007, 10:16 PM
I'll tell you how I feel. I think that the league needs to remove the cap and allow the cost of the product the owners are selling to reach it's own competitive level



Does not work. If that would happen. It would put the steelers at a serve disadvantage when it comes to competing. Since the big market teams NE, Dallas, Washington, Philly all would overspend and the steelers will not extend themselves from a fiscal standpoint. If the cap goes. Then you create a MLB situation, where you have the Yanks, Redsox, mets. angels, and everyone else.

DIESELMAN
12-18-2007, 10:23 PM
All professional sporting events need to be on "PAY TO VIEW", it has to happen sooner or later so why wait. Forget the fans, they are not important as they used to be. The NFL is not building a league, they have a great product and should be raking in as much money as they can.
I like to see every game broadcast and allow the fans to pick the game they want to watch.

At what cost per game? $1000.00? thats what will happen, jack up everything so the CEO's and other corporate do nothings rake it all in.

Forged in Steel
12-19-2007, 09:36 AM
He should also work out in his future conract NOT TO FUMBLE AND INTERCEPT EVERY SINGLE GAME! I know it's hard to do that but it seems like every game he does that crap.