Pittsburgh Steelers franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has publicly stated that he wants to retire a Steeler. The team’s front office has publicly stated that it wants Roethlisberger to retire a Steeler. All road signs are pointing towards a deal getting done sometime this offseason. Most of Steeler Nation are being patient about this, but it doesn’t stop NBC ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio from stirring the pot and inciting the masses about what is going on between Ben and the organization.
In his latest ‘attempt’ of reporting the happenings on the South Side of the ‘Burgh, Florio insults our intelligence by assuming that Steeler Nation does not understand the business side of football and speculates that the Steelers are in control and letting Roethlisberger sweat this one out. Somehow due to the fact that Roethlisberger said during last season he wanted to retire a Steeler, he somehow has given up his leverage in getting the contract he deserves.
So the Steelers apparently will take a wait and see approach, unless Roethlisberger is willing to take less than full market value. (A deal in theory could come at any time; both sides have to date honored an agreement to not discuss the situation on or off the record.) If no new contract is negotiated, the Steelers won’t have to worry about Roethlisberger clamoring for a raise, thanks to his strong reaction to rumors from last year that he wants out. By already giving up his primary leverage, it’ll be hard for him to make a power play now…. he’ll still have a hard time getting out of the corner into which he has painted himself by declaring he wants to retire in Pittsburgh.
I didn’t realize that using the words “I want to retire a ________,” is as good as signing on the dotted line of a contract yet to be drawn up. Well news for Florio – it’s not and when has it ever? Football is a business and nine times out of ten, a player is going to go where the money is – especially in the case of Ben when he is essentially in his prime as a quarterback. And as Behind the Steel Curtain pointed out, who says that money is the end all be all of striking a deal? Ben has plenty of power in the form of having some control and decision making within the offense. Tall receiver? Let Ben have a say in the draft. Why not? He’s been in the league long enough that he can gauge talent. Those are his wins and championships on the line too. If the Steelers are prepared to give $20+ million a year, let him have more say on the team.
The bottom line just doesn’t have to be dollars and cents. And the bottom line is that because Ben says he wants to retire a Steeler doesn’t mean he’s willing to give up millions a year to do so.
Why haven’t they come up with a new deal yet. Well, despite that Ben is a huge part to the success of this franchise, he’s not the only cog in the machine. There are many holes and deficiencies the team needs to address in order to get back to playoff and championship football. They can’t very well put all their eggs into one basket – not when they are cap strapped this season, and not in the coming years despite two more years of cap increases.
I have faith that the front office will get a deal done some time before camp starts. It may be very well as late as after June 1st when more players like LaMarr Woodley will be released for more cap savings.
This whole “Steelers content” to sit on their hands and not do anything is just smoke out of Florio’s rear. He enjoys stirring up crap like this. A deal will get done, Ben will retire a Steeler, and there will be a couple more Lombardi Trophies to go along with all of it.