While the Pittsburgh Steelers we not doing much of anything during the first weekend of free agency, behind the scenes the team was wrapping up a mega-deal that was announced earlier today, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed what reports are saying was an 8-year deal worth a staggering $102 million. Adam Schefter of NFL Network reported that the deal includes $36 mil guaranteed. Considering that Roethlisberger just turned 26, the deal will keep him as the signal caller of the Steelers for quite a long time.
The deal was the biggest the Steelers had ever given a player, and makes Ben one of the highest paid players in the league. “This is about being a Pittsburgh Steeler for as long as I can be. I love Pittsburgh,” Roethlisberger said. He said he “wanted to be like the Dan Marinos, like the John Elways, guys who played with one team their whole career.” This deal may very well do that, as he would be a Steeler till 2015.
Roethlisberger had one of the best seasons a Steelers QB had ever had in 2007, coming back off of what was a nightmare in 06. He threw 32 TD’s and 11 picks, made the Pro Bowl for the first time, and had a QB rating of 104.1. He had two years left on his rookie deal, but the team and Big Ben really wanted to get this done to avoid any sort of distraction as he and the team entered the 2008 season.
“Ben has been an outstanding leader on the field for the Steelers since his rookie year and we are very happy to know that he will be our quarterback for many years to come,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said Monday in a statement. No question that this deal shows once again that the Steelers are willing to spend money on players they feel are worth it, they just don’t break the bank everyday like some teams around the league who treat money like it’s part of a board game.