Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is cashing in.
According to ESPN Stats and Information’s John Parolin and ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley, Roethlisberger will receive $11.9 million dollars this season that included a contract reconstruction bonus worth $9 million. The quarterback will make $76.5 million from a 8-year deal worth $102 million that he signed back in March of 2008. This is the most money made by a player with a $100 million contract, a record previously held by Donovan McNabb who made $69 million. Roethlisberger now tops names such as Drew Brees, Mario Williams and Adrian Peterson.
Is Roethlisberger really worth all the money though?
Absolutely. Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls for the Steelers, one in just his second year as a quarterback in the NFL. The other one he won by contributing to one of the clutchest plays the NFL has ever seen. Roethlisberger is also one of the most unique quarterbacks the league has to offer. Big Ben has all the right mechanics a quarterback should have and not to mention a ridiculous pump fake that makes even the best defensive players leap out of their cleats. The one thing that has always stood out about Roethlisberger is his size; they don’t call him “Big Ben” for nothing. Roethlisberger’s size often allows him to escape from monstrous linebackers, brushing them off like it’s nothing. Escaping these linebackers and other defensive players allows Roethlisberger to bide time and make big plays.
Roethlisberger excels in improvising on the field and there is no doubt that when Roethlisberger is forced out of the pocket he becomes even more dangerous. Roethlisberger’s ability to extend plays is unmatched: 9 times out of 10 Big Ben will find is target after escaping heavy pressure in the backfield. Roethlisberger has gotten a lot of practice over the years at scrambling around due to the usual lack-luster offensive line in front of him. However, Roethlisberger extending plays hasn’t always been for the better. His holding on to the ball for to long has led to a lot of sacks over the years, which then led to various injuries for the quarterback.
Big Ben has sustained many injuries throughout his career, including last season where he suffered a rare shoulder separation that was potentially fatal. That injury caused Roethlisberger to miss 3 games. Despite the constant wear and tear that Roethlisberger has become accustomed to, there aren’t many players, if any, who get pegged with the term “he plays better when he’s hurt”. As bizarre as it sounds, it’s true. When Big Ben is hurt he does manage to play at an outstanding level. No one should ever doubt Roethlisberger’s toughness; coming through when he’s hurting is something he’s done time after time.
Roethlisberger also came with some drama attached to him as the years went by. A motorcycle crash, stories of his “better than you” attitude and a couple rape accusations put a damper on Roethlisberger’s life off the field, while putting judgmental opinions in the minds of his fans and peers. However, the quarterback seems to have changed his ways, and according to many different sources he has truly changed for the better. Roethlisberger got married and recently had his first child, Ben Jr.
A dominant quarterback on the field and a respectable man off the field is what the Steelers’ organization needs to have.
An extension to Roethlisberger’s contract would most likely mean Big Ben would be wearing black and gold for his entire career. This is something every Steeler fan should want to hear. Terry Bradshaw is the greatest Steelers’ quarterback of all time but if Roethlisberger were to pick up a few more rings before calling it quits, Bradshaw just might move into second place. It’s not unrealistic to believe that could happen. Hopefully number 7 can lead the charge and win Super Bowl number 7 for the Steelers in the near future. Roethlisberger has a lot more to offer for a few more years and Steeler Nation needs to enjoy the ride. One day the Roethlisberger era will come to a close and whoever his successor is will definitely have some”Big” shoes to fill. Who knows, maybe one day Ben Jr. will be slinging the rock for the Steelers.