Roethlisberger agrees to $102 million deal

Ben Roethlisberger became not only the highest-paid Steelers player ever, he's now among the highest-paid players in the NFL, and arguments can be made that he's No. 1.

Roethlisberger today signed a contract that will pay him $102 million over eight seasons. It includes so-called "guaranteed money" of slightly more than $36 million and a $25 million signing bonus.

"This is about being a Pittsburgh Steeler for as long as I can be,'' Roethlisberger said. "I don't want to go anywhere.''

Said Dan Rooney, the Steelers chairman, "He's a Steeler, he'll always be a Steeler.''

Roethlisberger's agents, Ryan and Bruce Tollner, arrived in Pittsburgh Sunday to wrap up a deal they've been negotiating for nearly a month.

It was important for the Steelers to get the deal finished before a signing bonus of $2.95 million was due Roethlisberger in a few days. By doing the contract earlier, they could put that money into the signing bonus, which is spread over the life of the contract.

The Steelers had only $2.4 million left under their cap, so it's possible they must rescind the nearly $7 million tender given to tackle Max Starks as their transition player.

The signing apparently did not hurt their small-time hunt in free agency. They are entertaining their first unrestricted free agent today at their facility, running back Mewelde Moore of the Minnesota Vikings. Moore, 25, is 5-11, 209 and has played on a limited basis the past two seasons in Minnesota.

And tomorrow, Eugene Wilson, a former starting free safety for the New England Patriots, will visit.

More in tomorrow's Post-Gazette.

Ed Bouchette can be reached at . First Published March 3, 2008 3:15 PM

Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here