Steelers’ Kevin Colbert: ‘Huge lift’ that Ben Roethlisberger wants to play beyond 2019 |

Steelers’ Kevin Colbert: ‘Huge lift’ that Ben Roethlisberger wants to play beyond 2019

Joe Rutter

INDIANAPOLIS — A new contract may be in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s future, but general manager Kevin Colbert said the Steelers don’t need to restructure his current deal or extend it for salary-cap purposes before the new league year begins March 14.

Roethlisberger has two years remaining on his contract and will count $23.2 million against the salary cap in each of the 2018-19 seasons. The Steelers have about $6 million in cap space as they try to sign running back Le’Veon Bell to a long-term contract.

Colbert said it was a “huge lift emotionally” when Roethlisberger announced after the AFC divisional playoff loss to Jacksonville in January that he would return for 2018 and beyond.

Roethlisberger, who turns 36 on Friday, has said he would like to play beyond his contract, a change of heart from the 2017 offseason when he contemplated retirement.

Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team is in favor of extending Roethlisberger’s contract but did not provide a timeframe for any negotiations. The Steelers typically extend their quarterback’s contract with two years remaining, but Roethlisberger’s previous deal came when he had one year left.

“Whatever his years are, whatever years he has left, we want them to be the best, and we hope it’s more than year to year and we can go beyond the contract he has,” Colbert said Wednesday.

Although Roethlisberger plans to play multiple seasons, Colbert said the Steelers won’t change their approach to the draft. Last year, with Roethlisberger’s future uncertain, the Steelers selected Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round. The Steelers also signed backup Landry Jones to a two-year deal that expires after the 2018 season.

“We go through the evaluation process the same ever year,” Colbert said. “We will evaluate players we might not draft because we have to stack the draft board accordingly.”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

Getty Images
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks on against the Jaguars during the second half of the AFC divisional playoff game Jan. 14, 2018.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.