Ben Roethlisberger has two years left on a contract that goes through the 2019 season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller isn’t looking to break the bank when the time comes for a new deal.
“I care about record-breaking Super Bowl wins and things like that — that’s more important to me,” Roethlisberger told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler from the QB’s football camp Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger currently sits as the 12th-highest paid quarterback in annual salary at $21.85 million, per Over The Cap, well behind the likes of Kirk Cousins ($28 million per) and Matt Ryan ($30 million). While most of the offseason talk has revolved around Aaron Rodgers resetting the QB market, Big Ben isn’t worried about topping all others when it comes time for a new deal.
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“I have two years on my contract. I’m not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract,” said Roethlisberger. “That’s not my job. My job is to play football. I’ll let my representation, the Steelers worry about all that stuff. To me, it’s all about going out and playing now. I think there are a lot more, maybe a lot more important people who need to get their deals done now. For me to do it two years out, if it doesn’t make sense for the team, I’m not going to sit here and worry about it.”
A year after contemplating retirement, Roethlisberger now sounds like a player who’s willing to take fewer dollars on his next deal in hopes of increasing his chances for another Super Bowl victory.
“It’s important, too, to understand as quarterback of this team, sometimes you almost have to leave a little bit of money behind for other guys,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s not my job, that’s not my thing to worry about. That’s why I have agents.”
Le’Veon Bell sits as the most obvious candidate in need of a payday in Pittsburgh, but Big Ben pointed to his offensive linemen as where he’d invest some of his money.
“I know in two years, [Maurkice] Pouncey, [Marcus] Gilbert, there are other very important guys up that I hope get taken care of,” Roethlisberger said. “Because if they aren’t here, I’m not here. That’s the way it is; they are that good.”
With the quarterback market thrust over $30 million per year, Roethlisberger’s ensuing deal will be interesting to track over the course of the next year or so to see if Big Ben leaves any money on the table when he has the leverage to max out.