Ben Roethlisberger agrees to 3-year deal with Steelers
On the 15th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, they signed him to a three-year contract that will keep him with the team presumably for the rest of his NFL career.
The Steelers announced Roethlisberger signed a deal Wednesday that runs through the 2021 season. ESPN reported the deal is worth $80 million and includes a $37.5 million signing bonus and $30 million in injury guarantees.
Roethlisberger, 37, is entering his 16th season and had one year remaining on the contract he signed before the 2015 season. Roethlisberger had a $17 million base salary that included $5 million roster bonus he triggered in March. He would have counted $23.2 million against the salary cap this year.
“It has always been a goal to play my entire career in Pittsburgh,” Roethlisberger said in a statement released by the team. “This is home for me and my family, and we love this city. I am as excited to be a Steeler in year 16 as I was when they drafted me. They will get my absolute best.”
The Roethlisberger signing has been awaited since team president Art Rooney II announced in a fan chat in January that negotiations had started on a new deal for the most prolific passer in franchise history.
Roethlisberger leads the Steelers in almost every statistical passing category, including career yardage (56,194), touchdown passes (363), passer rating (94.2), completions (4,616), completion percentage (64.6) and 300-yard passing games (61).
“Ben is one of the most productive quarterbacks in NFL history, and he continued to climb the lists among the all-time passing leaders in the league last season,” Rooney II said in a statement. “But I know Ben’s focus is on only one goal — to bring another Lombardi trophy back to Pittsburgh. We are excited to finalize this new contract that will keep him as a Steeler through the 2021 season.”
According to the NFL Players’ Association, the Steelers entered Wednesday about $6.2 million under the salary cap with 76 players under contract. Only the top 51 salaries count against the cap in the offseason.
Roethlisberger ranked No. 13 among active quarterbacks in terms of annual salary. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson recently signed a four-year deal worth $140 million, an average of $35 million annually.
Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, is coming off a season in which he led the NFL with 5,129 passing yards.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .