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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Money matters

When asked about Tony Romo’s contract extension in the days after the Dallas quarterback signed his new deal, all Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said was, “Interesting.”

Roethlisberger wasn’t saying much about Romo’s contract, but the sly smile and look he gave me when I asked him about it said it all: He knows he’s about to take the step from being rich to very rich.

For all the hype surrounding Romo, Roethlisberger has several things that Romo does not, namely a Super Bowl ring and several playoff victories. Those are some pretty important credentials that Roethlisberger has and Romo does not.

So when the Steelers start negotiations with Roethlisberger, it’s very likely the two parties will start with Romo’s six-year, $67.5-million deal and work up from there.

That deal included $30 million in guaranteed money, something the Steelers have been slow to include in their contracts, but something that is now a part of doing business in today’s NFL.

There are those who think Roethlisberger may be inclined to give the Steelers the home-town discount since he’s also come forward with a laundry list of things he’d like to see this offseason – namely a tall wide receiver and the retention of guard Alan Faneca.

But the hometown bargains that have been cited really aren’t.

Tom Brady’s contract – the one most often talked about – was a six-year, $60-million contract with New England that included a $14.5-million signing bonus.

That deal was only considered a bargain because Peyton Manning had just signed a nine-year, $99.2-million deal – with a $35.4-million bonus – with Indianapolis, and Atlanta had gone crazy and given Michael Vick a 10-year, $130-million deal with a $37-million signing bonus.

In the grand scheme of things, Manning’s deal now seems like a bargain price, while Vick’s seems as crazy now as it did then.

It would seem the going rate for a star-caliber NFL quarterback starts at a little over $10 million per year on average and goes from there.

And that’s what Roethlisberger will want and get.


Kelly said...

Roethlisberger’s contract negotiations should be interesting for all of the reasons you stated. I guess one thing for sure is he’ll be getting at least a 6 year deal for at least $65 million, home town discount or not.

I read about his desire for a tall receiver. What do you think will come of this? Has Dallas Baker shown anything? Obviously the draft is an option. Maybe the Steelers could look at signing Bryant Johnson in the off season??

adamg said...

As much as I like Big Ben, he's not worth what he'll be asking.

Dale Lolley said...

Baker was making some plays in practice toward the end of the season. But that's just practice, with no hitting. This will be a big offseason for him.
Why isn't Roethlisberger worth what he'll be asking for. Franchise quarterbacks are the face of the team.

Kelly said...

Yeah, i don't understand why Ben isn't worth what he's going to certainly get. He's an upper echelon QB. Where would the Steelers be without him?

Hopefully Baker is working hard this offseason and will open some eyes in camp. I still like looking at Johnson though.

adamg said...

Well, I think a team can win with a competent qb given a good OL and running game and defense. Just look at the qbs who won SBs, there are some pretty ordinary players in there. BR had a great individual year this year, yet the team won only 2 more games than it did last year when he was hurt and not playing well.

Personally, I wouldn't break the bank for a QB.