Ben Roethlisberger, at the age of 32, is coming off of statistically his best season in his career. Roethlisberger turns 33 at the beginning of March, but that's not a deterrent to the Steelers organization and their progress on a new, long-term deal for their quarterback.
Pittsburgh is eager to get a deal done with Roethlisberger because it feels like he can be even better than what he has been so far. It's like the team is comparing Roethlisberger to a fine wine saying he's going to get better as he ages.
"I really think Ben is going to be a better quarterback down the road than he is at this point," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Tuesday, via ESPN. "Ben is a franchise quarterback that's getting better with age."
Roethlisberger is coming off a 2014 campaign that saw him achieve career-highs in passing yards (4,952), completions (408) and completion rate (67.1 percent). The quarterback's current eight-year, $102 million deal is set to expire at the end of the 2015 season, but the Steelers say they are not concerned with getting a deal done.
"When you have two parties that want to achieve the same goal, it is about working out the details," Colbert said. "It could happen quickly. It could take awhile."
Pittsburgh needs to do everything it can to secure Roethlisberger to a long-term deal, even if it means paying him in the range of $150 million. Three of his four 4,000-yard passing campaigns have come after the age of 29. Like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, Roethlisberger has what it takes to succeed late in his 30s. With young players like running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receivers Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant all growing and improving, having Roethlisberger on the roster will make Pittsburgh a force to be reckoned with for years to come.