FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) warms up before playing the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
The Pittsburgh Steelers are working to finalize a contract extension with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before the 2019 NFL Draft begins Thursday, ESPN reported Tuesday.
According to the report, the sides have been in discussions since the regular season ended and are making progress.
Roethlisberger, 37, is due $12 million in base salary in 2019, the final year of his four-year, $87.4 million deal. He was already paid a $5 million roster bonus in March and is set to count $23.2 million against the cap.
Russell Wilson became the highest-paid player in NFL history last week, signing a four-year, $140 million extension, but Wilson is only 30. The most recent top quarterback in Roethlisberger’s age bracket to sign a new deal, Drew Brees, signed a two-year, $50 million contract in March of 2018 at age 39.
At the start of the 2017 season, Roethlisberger said he believed he could play another three to five seasons.
In his 15th year as Pittsburgh’s starter, Roethlisberger posted his best statistical season in 2018, leading the league and setting career highs in completions (452), attempts (675) and passing yards (5,129) and tossing a career-high 34 touchdown passes. The Steelers missed the playoffs, however, at 9-6-1.
The Steelers’ first-round pick (11th overall) in 2004, Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl selection. He ranks sixth in NFL history in passing yards (56,194) and seventh in touchdown passes (363).
—Field Level Media