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August 9th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 11-03-2013, 07:10 AM   #1
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Default Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

The season is bad and so are some of the upcoming off season decisions

Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

The Steelers added an extra salary cap expert, Samir Suleiman, to pair with Omar Khan, the football administrative director who has interviewed for general manager jobs. The extra manpower might be needed to assist general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin in sorting out what figures to be the Steelers' busiest and most-complicated offseason in a long time.

And it all starts with Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger's $17.895 million chews up approximately 14.5 percent of their projected salary cap. Failing to extend his deal, which is due to run two more seasons, could leave the Steelers in the untenable position of having to shear off valuable players role players and possibly a starter or two just to stay under the cap.

But how long a deal does Roethlisberger get? He'll be 32 next season, and how many seasons and how much money do they dare commit? Quarterback megasalaries are ruining the cap situations of many teams, and the Steelers already have a huge cap overload to negotiate.

Talk about paying the price for success. Just look at these 2014 cap figures, as calculated by websites Spotrac and overthecap.com: LaMarr Woodley, $13,590,000; Ike Taylor (who recently restructured), $11,942,000; Lawrence Timmons, $11,816,000; Troy Polamalu, $10,887,500; Heath Miller, $9,466,500; Antonio Brown, $8,47,000.

That's about $84 million for seven players, leaving only about $40 million for the remaining 46, plus the rookie class and all the players who will attend training camp.

The Steelers can't do business that way. And they certainly can't keep doing business the way they've been doing it. Part of the problem they've faced for multiple seasons is they keep restructuring or, as Colbert says, they keep adding to the credit card bill and all this accrued interest is catching up with them.

One answer would be lopping off a big salary or two, taking the cap hit for that year (as they did with James Harrison this season) and then moving on.

The Steelers could let Troy Polamalu go and free up about $8.2 million of cap space, but that's unlikely because Ryan Clark probably won't return.

Clark is one of at least 17 players, including five current or former starters, who are in the final seasons of their contracts and probably won't be back: Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Jason Worilds, Jerricho Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders, Al Woods, Greg Warren, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Felix Jones, Guy Whimper, Fernando Velasco, Cody Wallace, David Johnson, Michael Palmer, Jonathan Dwyer and Richard Gordon. Keisel could return but only at a steeply reduced salary.

How the Steelers' 2014 cap shakes out likely starts with Roethlisberger. The question is whether he'll give them a hometown discount to make it happen, especially when the Steelers are paying full retail for so many others.

You'll know by early March. If No. 7 doesn't have an extension by then, it will be a sign the Steelers are going to let him play out the final two years of his deal and then they'll really be entering the great unknown.


http://triblive.com/sports/-topstori...#axzz2jUlP1p2s

With regard to the 2014 cap numbers, one factor is the dead money from prorated signing bonuses that will count against the cap even if the player is released - for example, Steelers cap # would go up if they released Woodley

http://www.overthecap.com/teamcap.ph...lers&Year=2014

This is Ben's 10th year in the league - that was Bradshaw's last great year and very few QBs in the post-1978 rules changes era have won a championship after their 10th year - given the beatings Ben has taken and his dissatisfaction with the Arians firing/Haley hiring I do not see him taking a hometown discount to extend - another Steelers contract for him is no gimme
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

We could be seeing the end of the Big Ben Era coming up. I hope we can put a team together and at least compete to get back to the playoff before he's gone.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

You have to extend him and bring in his successor in the next two drafts. Similar to what Green Bay did with Favre/Rodgers. You can get two more years out of him. Keep running up the tab, maybe the NFL might increase the cap significantly between the time interest comes due and then.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

This is why if we end up with a top 3 pick, taking Mariota becomes a necessity.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

Such a tough choice. I like Ben and believe he's one of the main reasons we win ball games, but there are many valid questions to answer first.

1.) Do you stick with your franchise QB who's won you 2 Super Bowls and taken you to a third if you don't think this rebuilding process will be completed in time for him to make an impact anymore? It doesn't seem to make sense to dump that much salary on one veteran player if you don't believe you can get the team competitive again before his time runs out as an effective NFL QB. Conversely, he's been the key to this team winning games since he's been a starter and any rebuilding effort would be tough to finish off without a franchise QB like him.

2.) Is Landry Jones an NFL caliber QB capable of taking over the reins in the event Ben is let go? If they're willing to let Ben go, the Steelers need to be sure that Jones or some other young gun is ready to take over the offense for the near future. It's unlikely we'll get one in free agency worthy of starter status and drafting one could take time to develop or be a complete bust and where would that leave you?

3.) How many other vet stars are gone after this season and how much does that help our cap situation? We are likely going to be parting ways with some or all of these guys in the next 2 seasons: Keisel, Polamalu, Worilds, Taylor, Clark, Hood, Felix Jones, Sanders, and Cotchery. Depending on how much cap relief results in these departures may decide Ben's fate.

4.) Is Ben still the same durable and tough QB he used to be? Ben has had injuries piling up for a long time and sooner or later that will catch up to him. He's missed 14 games in his NFL career not to mention the 4 games he was suspended for for the his off-field issues. He's taking longer to heal and still taking sacks at an alarming rate which doesn't bode well for his body if something doesn't give soon.

5.) Does Ben still have enough gas left in the tank to make another SB run? Ben is 32 and beaten up which will accelerate that age a little more. He still shakes off tacklers, but seemingly not as easily as times past indicating that either age and/or injuries may be catching up with him some.

6.) Do you risk trading him or not renewing his contract if you aren't sure you can land proven talent to make the team competitive going forward? The risk/reward needs heavily weighed here. If you are certain that you can fill holes with proven talent for less money and be competitive in the process, it may be worth considering.


I'm not advocating cutting Ben loose. I think he's one of the main reasons this team has been as successful as it has for the past decade, if not the main reason, but the questions are valid in gauging this team moving forward.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
This is why if we end up with a top 3 pick, taking Mariota becomes a necessity.
The chance of ending up with a top 3 pick is still very very small. And even if they luckily (or unluckily) get a #3 pick. There is still a good chance that Mariota will not be there. Both the Jags and Bucs need a QB.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

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This is why if we end up with a top 3 pick, taking Mariota becomes a necessity.
Yea but i think we'll win 2/3 more games
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

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That's about $84 million for seven players, leaving only about $40 million for the remaining 46, plus the rookie class and all the players who will attend training camp.
The Steelers overpaid their players and then mortaged the future and it finally caught up with them.

This is arguably the biggest reason they suck so bad right now and possibly will for the next few years.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

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The Steelers overpaid their players and then mortaged the future and it finally caught up with them.

This is arguably the biggest reason they suck so bad right now and possibly will for the next few years.
And I can't say they did the wrong thing. They made 3 Super Bowl appearances during Roethlisberger's tenure and the Steelers F.O. knew they had a franchise star QB to make more runs at it. I can't fault them for mortgaging the future to win as many SBs as they could because you don't get a lot of opportunities to do it. It's so hard to find a QB that's able to lead a team there and when you land one, you try to keep the best players around them that you can to have a realistic shot at winning more. Unfortunately, that usually ends up coming home to roost and we're starting to see the back end of that approach. We just need to hope that the down years are as few as possible.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Time nears for Steelers to decide on Roethlisberger extension

Ben isn't going anywhere.
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