Kevin Colbert says Ben Roethlisberger isn't going anywhere.
The Steelers are delaying contracts talks with their franchise quarterback until next year, but the team's general manager said Monday, “I don't see any circumstance of where Ben won't finish his career here.”
Colbert also doesn't expect lengthy negotiations with Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, who has an excellent relationship with the Steelers.
“Most negotiations aren't that complicated or time consuming once they get started, if you have two people or two parties that want to do a deal,” he said.
By pushing back Roethlisberger's contract talks until next year, the Steelers are risking that NFL star players' salaries won't take a steep hike in 2015 following another expected bump in the salary cap.
But even though elite players' salaries could be nearing the $20-million-a-year level in salary and bonuses by then, Colbert's comment was the most definitive yet that the Steelers won't allow their 11-year starting quarterback to leave.
Roethlisberger, a three-time Super Bowl quarterback, said he wants to play his entire career in Pittsburgh, but he also is expected to be seek his market value in the negotiations.
What if the 32-year-old Roethlisberger has a career year and the Steelers win the Super Bowl, thus driving up his price tag?
“That would be wonderful,” Colbert said.
The Steelers are delaying a new contract for Roethlisberger — he is starting the seventh season of his current deal — in part so they can try to reach deals with their prospective 2015 free agents, including Jason Worilds, Marcus Gilbert, Cortez Allen, Shaun Suisham and Arthur Moats.
“We still have a good four weeks (before the season starts) to try to get something done, and that's where we are right now,” Colbert said.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
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