PDA

View Full Version : Ben's contract: Will Roethlisberger be cashing in early?



BlitzburghRockCity
05-24-2007, 06:56 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07144/788646-66.stm


Thursday, May 24, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ben Roethlisberger politely passed word that he had no time for an interview yesterday after Steelers practice; he had to hurry to meet his golf partner, Mario Lemieux.

Roethlisberger will not top Lemieux on the golf course, but he might soon surpass him in another area. No athlete in the history of Pittsburgh pro sports earned more money than the Penguins' Hall of Famer. Roethlisberger could be the one to do that.

The Steelers and Roethlisberger's agent have had early talks about a contract extension for the young quarterback. While it appears nothing will be done this season, the machinery is gearing up for what should be the largest contract in the organization's history.

"We've had some discussions with them," agent Ryan Tollner said. "I'm not sure what they're planning, other than certainly they're considering they want to do a deal. If they would want to start [serious negotiations] before the season, we'd have to start soon. It'll be a complicated contract. If not before this season, we're open to discussion, but I definitely expect it to happen following this season."

Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, declined comment on any possible negotiations with Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger's next deal looms large over the organization already and might be one reason they won't or can't pay six-time Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca enough to keep him here beyond the 2007 season.

Roethlisberger will enter his fourth NFL season among the lowest-paid starting quarterbacks in the NFL -- strictly in terms of salary for the 2007 season. He is set to earn a salary of $1 million this year. He has received, however, many bonuses since he was drafted in the first round in 2004, including the initial $9 million in signing and roster bonuses within the first 11 months after he was drafted.

Still, his salary this season is less than backup Charlie Batch, who will make $1,355,000. Neither Tollner nor Roethlisberger have complained about it, and the agent realizes that with three years left on the quarterback's rookie contract, an extension may be a year away.

"At this point, our approach with the Steelers has been to keep things very positive and do what's best for the team," Tollner said. "We understand they have needs and other players to do first. Ben is a team player, and his focus is winning games and whatever's best for the team in that regard."

The Steelers have an unwritten policy that they do not extend players' contracts until they reach the point where they have just one year left on the deal. They have made exceptions for quarterbacks, extending the contracts of Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox when they had two years left.

In fact, Stewart still holds the record for Steelers quarterbacks for signing bonuses -- $8.1 million when he extended his contract three years in 1998, when there were two years left on his old one. Even though it occurred nine years ago, that signing bonus is second in team history only to Hines Ward's $9 million in 2005 (Roethlisberger's first bonus in 2004 originally was reported at $9 million, but that included reporting bonuses, making the signing bonus closer to $7.2 million).

Roethlisberger's rookie contract, negotiated by his then-agent Leigh Steinberg, was done with the intent on both sides that it would be renegotiated after the 2008 season. The lack of serious negotiations to this point underscores that point, even if other teams have written new contracts for their franchise quarterbacks after their second or third seasons in the league.

Four examples of that are Tom Brady, who earned a new deal after his second season with the New England Patriots; Carson Palmer, whose contract was extended by the Cincinnati Bengals in his third season; Jake Plummer, restructured by the Arizona Cardinals after his third season, and Donovan McNabb, whose rookie deal was redone after his third season with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Only the Cardinals came to regret those second deals.

Roethlisberger signed his six-year contract on the eve of training camp in 2004, and it was worth $14.26 million plus an $8 million roster bonus to be paid March 5, 2009. Because he reached so many performance bonuses and incentive clauses in his first two seasons, Roethlisberger earned many more millions.

"I'm sure the Steelers have a plan," Tollner said. "We've certainly discussed it with them and tried to figure what that plan is. We've mentioned their predicament with these other contracts and are doing our best to work with them."

Tollner promised there won't be a peep of discontent this year from Roethlisberger about his contract.

"At this point, Ben is not planning anything other than being there for every workout and playing this season to the best of his ability. Our approach is to communicate behind closed doors with the team, get something done and never have public scrutiny at all."

BlitzburghRockCity
05-24-2007, 07:06 AM
They won't start talking about his deal until atleast next offseason. I mean hell if they're willing to redo Tommy Gun's contract early then they'll certainly consider working on Ben's deal. The good thing is we have time on our side for the present while we work on other players who need deals done now.

There's no if or maybe about it, Ben's deal will be the biggest deal in Steelers history by far and will most likely dwarf any previous deal by a large margin. If he is successful this year and returns to form it will go a long way towards him getting a bigger deal from us come contract time, but if Ben struggles again this year I wouldn't expect the team to be ready to give a big fat contract extension next offseason. Ben is like anyone else, he's got to step up to the plate and perform this year and earn that deal.

One thing is for sure, assuming Ben does return to his successful ways on the field this coming year, I want him to stay. We haven't had a franchise QB since Bradshaw and now we finally get one and the Rooney's damn well better step up to the plate and pay the man otherwise we'll be destined to mediocrity again, falling just short over and over and over. We shall see....

DIESELMAN
05-24-2007, 10:11 AM
Its good that the FO is thinking ahead but like you said TOP, won't nothin happen till after this coming season. I'm hoping Ben realizes how the Rooneys deal with QB contracts and plays his *** off to justify any big time contract.

House of Steel
05-24-2007, 10:16 AM
I am with you two on this one. Hold your breath for Ben to regain his posture and form this year. I think Ben is going to surprise us all and return to his glory.

25MVPKing
05-24-2007, 11:32 AM
I hate that contract-year performance crap. I hope he returns to form and doesn't let it go to his head. Hopefully he's grown up some since his Super Bowl XL win, drunken-party pics, and near death experience.

He's been the most successful QB of his draft and I hope he keeps it up.

PsychoWard
05-24-2007, 12:21 PM
One thing is for sure, assuming Ben does return to his successful ways on the field this coming year, I want him to stay. We haven't had a franchise QB since Bradshaw and now we finally get one and the Rooney's damn well better step up to the plate and pay the man otherwise we'll be destined to mediocrity again, falling just short over and over and over. We shall see....

for sure!!! i think he will be fine this year and play to how we all know how he is capable of playing! and when that does happen he will be getting PAID!!! and like TG said we need to pony up the money and make him a franchise QB!

AZ_Steeler
05-24-2007, 12:34 PM
I hate that contract-year performance crap. I hope he returns to form and doesn't let it go to his head. Hopefully he's grown up some since his Super Bowl XL win, drunken-party pics, and near death experience.

He's been the most successful QB of his draft and I hope he keeps it up.

I'm with you on this on! That whole performance crap year does nothing but let the player go out there and try and over do himself and then they have a sucky year! Give him his money now and let it be because you'll get more from your player rather than having them prove themselves :dunno:

BlitzburghRockCity
05-24-2007, 12:50 PM
Either that or else they're in a contract year, they have a kick *** season then sign a huge deal and go down the toilet :nonod:

I would think/hope that Ben has learned from last year in every phase of his life so he can take it move forward to a great future with us :towelwave:

25MVPKing
05-24-2007, 12:51 PM
I'm with you on this on! That whole performance crap year does nothing but let the player go out there and try and over do himself and then they have a sucky year! Give him his money now and let it be because you'll get more from your player rather than having them prove themselves :dunno:
Or, and I *shudder* to have to bring this up, as everyone's saying Faneca will play his arse off this year to ink a huge deal next year. Either, he'll play half-assed so as to not get hurt because he's got "no security" as he said, he'll play really well and get a cush contract, or he'll play his heart out and get hurt overdoing it.

If I was the owner, I'd ink Troy today. And I'd ink Ben right after the end of the season (hopefully with the 6th Lombardi on my desk keeping the fat contract from blowing away).

Captcoolhand
05-24-2007, 07:34 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has already had talks with the team about a contract extension, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He still has three years left on the contract he signed as a rookie, but Pittsburgh has a history of re-signing quarterbacks early.

An extension is not likely to be extended this year, but it appears the ball is rolling for Roethlisberger -- the youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl -- to sign the largest contract in the Steelers' storied history.

Whenever signed, the deal likely will make the 25-year-old the richest athlete in the history of Pittsburgh professional sports, a title currently held by Pittsburgh hockey legend Mario Lemieux.

"We've had some discussions with them," agent Ryan Tollner said. "I'm not sure what they're planning, other than certainly they're considering they want to do a deal. If they would want to start [serious negotiations] before the season, we'd have to start soon. It'll be a complicated contract. If not before this season, we're open to discussion, but I definitely expect it to happen following this season."

The Steelers' director of football operations, Kevin Colbert, declined to comment on any possible negotiations with Roethlisberger.

This purported deal for next year, however, may be hindering the team's ability to juggle contracts this year. It could be a reason why the Steelers aren't willing or able to pay Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca.

But letting Roethlisberger know they plan to keep him is a wise move for Pittsburgh. This season will be Big Ben's fourth and he will remain among the lowest-paid starting quarterbacks in terms of salary. Though he received many bonuses for his impressive accent to starting quarterback, Roethlisberger is set to earn just $1 million in salary this season -- less than his backup Charlie Batch ($1,355000).

"At this point, our approach with the Steelers has been to keep things very positive and do what's best for the team," Tollner said. "We understand they have needs and other players to do first. Ben is a team player, and his focus is winning games and whatever's best for the team in that regard."
Sorry if this was posted already but thought it was a good read.:yesnod: