AFC North: Ben Roethlisberger Feeling Great, Cracks $70M Threshold


May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) participates in organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the postseason last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers will enter the 2013 NFL season attempting to avoid their first back-to-back stretch without making the playoffs since 1999-00. The majority of key pieces return for Pittsburgh, ands the biggest of which is Big Ben himself.

During this week’s visit to London, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that he wants to finish his career with more Super Bowl rings than the four won by former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw. That might be a bit of a stretch, but he’ll certainly eclipse the career earnings of Bradshaw.

As it stands now, Roethlisberger is scheduled to receive $11.6 million in salary this year/ This being because $9 million is in a bonus as part of a restructured contract he agreed to in order to free up cap space. Once he receives his full payment, he’ll have earned $76.5 million from an eight-year, $102 million deal that he signed in March 2008.

This is significant, as it’s the most any NFL player had received from a $100 million contract. The previous high was the $69 million that Donovan McNabb got from the Philadelphia Eagles.

While his bank account is certainly doing fine, his play on the field has dropped off over the past two seasons, due in large part to leg and rib injuries that caused him to miss multiple games.

After undergoing knee surgery in June, Big Ben says the knee has healed well:

"It feels great, it feels better than ever, like it’s a brand new knee and I feel younger than ever, I feel good."

He’s also ready to improve in Year 2 of offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s system:

"Well the great thing is last year was out first year working together, this is year two and we’ve come along way, there’s going to be some good stuff. We’re excited this year in the offensive and working with Todd (Haley) is great we’ve really been able to come together and formulate some good plans and we’ll be the best we can be."

The Steelers are expected to approach Roethlisberger about a contract extension next offseason.

Former Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron talked about how quarterback Joe Flacco’s throwing motion was so good coming into the league that neither he nor the Ravens had to do anything to help Flacco improve into the elite QB he’s become today, and that is was all because of Flacco’s hard work and dedication:

"Joe was very well schooled on how to throw the football. He came in with great mechanics. He came in with natural arm strength and endurance. But I would say to give the credit to Joe himself. Joe knows what he is doing when it comes to his arm. I’ve never seen him ice his arm. I never saw it sore. I’ve seen him tired maybe once."

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