As other signal-callers around the league take turns signing record-setting extensions, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he is far more concerned with winning than being next in line to break the bank.
“I care about record-breaking Super Bowl wins and things like that,” Roethlisberger, who has been to three Super Bowls and won two, told ESPN on Sunday. “That’s more important to me.”
At age 36 and with two years remaining on his deal, Roethlisberger’s extension might not be a pressing concern yet for the Steelers, who rarely address any contracts more than a year before they are set to expire. His current contract — which, when signed in 2015, made him the second-highest paid quarterback in the league at $21.85 million annually, behind only Aaron Rodgers ($22 million) — was signed as he was entering the final year of his previous deal.
Likewise, Roethlisberger doesn’t see his next deal as an urgent issue.
“I have two years on my contract. I’m not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract,” he said, per ESPN. “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.”
Roethlisberger added that he is cognizant of the benefits of being paid less than top-of-the-market value, particularly in how that money can go to teammates and yield a stronger team. He specifically named a pair of his offensive linemen, both of whom have two years remaining on their deals.
“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. “...I know in two years, Pouncey, Gilbert, there are other very important guys up that I hope get taken care of. Because if they aren’t here, I’m not here. That’s the way it is — they are that good.”
Roethlisberger’s annual salary now ranks 12th among quarterbacks, while his cap hit of $23.2 million ranks ninth. He will make $17 million between base salary and roster bonus this season, with the same figures (and same cap hit) on the books for 2019.
—Field Level Media