The Pittsburgh Steelers have extended the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger through the 2021 season, securing the services of the team’s franchise quarterback for three more years.
“Ben is one of the most productive quarterbacks in NFL history, and he continued to climb the lists among the all-time passing leaders in the league last season,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a release. “But I know Ben’s focus is on only one goal – to bring another Lombardi trophy back to Pittsburgh. We are excited to finalize this new contract that will keep him as a Steeler through the 2021 season.”
The financial details of the contract have not yet been disclosed. Roethlisberger was set to make $6.2 million in 2019, which was the final season of a four-year, $87-million contract extension he signed in 2015.
Ben Roethlisberger’s new deal with the Steelers will pay well north of $30 million per year for 2020-21, placing him in the top-three highest paid quarterbacks for those two years, a source told ESPN.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 24, 2019
Roethlisberger, 37, is coming off one of his most productive passing seasons. He threw for career highs in completions (452), attempts (675), yards (5,129) and touchdowns (34). He led the NFL in passing yards for the second time in his career.
“I am grateful to the Rooneys and the Steelers organization for continuing to believe in me,” Roethlisberger said. “It has always been a goal to play my entire career in Pittsburgh. This is home for me and my family, and we love this city. I am as excited to be a Steeler in year 16 as I was when they drafted me. They will get my absolute best.”
Drafted 15 years ago to the date of his extension signing, Roethlisberger is already the longest-tenured starting quarterback in Steelers history. He owns the franchise record for quarterback starts (214) and wins (144).
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first tweeted the news Wednesday morning.
Steelers Sign former Michigan State WR Cody White to Practice Squad
The Steelers have signed wide receiver Cody White to their practice squad, the team announced on Thursday.
White worked out for the team in a try out on Tuesday. He had also tried out with the Steelers once before in August.
A 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver from Novi, Michigan, White left Michigan State after his junior season to pursue an NFL career. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, but was waived with a non-football injury in July.
He was then signed by the New York Giants, but waived during training camp. That’s when he worked out for the Steelers the first time. He then signed with the Denver Broncos on Aug. 23, but was waived at the outset of training camp on Sept. 5.
In three seasons at Michigan State, White caught 143 passes for 1,967 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a junior in 2019, he had 66 catches for 922 yards and six scores to lead the Spartans in all three categories.
White will fill the Steelers’ practice squad after nose tackle Daniel McCullers elected to terminate his contract and join the Chicago Bears earlier this week.
He’ll help a wide receiver corps that has been reduced in practice by nagging injuries to Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster that has caused both players to miss Wednesday’s practice in consecutive weeks.
Former Steelers NT Dan McCullers Signs with Chicago Bears
Former Steelers defensive tackle Daniel McCullers has found new employment, agreeing on Thursday to a contract with the Chicago Bears, according to multiple reports.
McCullers’ agreement with the Bears was first reported by Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review.
McCullers, 28, terminated his practice squad contract with the Steelers earlier in the week. He was the Steelers’ sixth-round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and had spent the previous six seasons with the team, playing in 73 and making three starts while amassing 41 career tackles, four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
The 6-foot-7, 352-pound nose tackle was a somewhat surprising cut for the Steelers after training camp this season, losing his spot on the 53-man roster to rookie Carlos Davis.
The Bears added McCullers after defensive tackle John Jenkins suffered a thumb injury. The Steelers are not scheduled to play the Bears this season.
T.J. Watt Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week
Leading up to his big matchup vs. his brother J.J and the Houston Texans, T.J. Watt was honored for his performance last Sunday.
Watt was recognized Wednesday morning as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field. This was the third time in his career that Watt has won this award.
During the Steelers 26-21 win over the Broncos, Watt registered 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and four tackles.
Watt continues to be one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL. Counting his performance on Sunday, Watt now has collected 37 career sacks, which is the most by any NFL linebacker since 2017. Here’s another interesting stat courtesy the Pittsburgh Steelers media relations department: Watt has 25 sacks in 25 career games at Heinz Field. Only three players in NFL history have registered more sacks over their first 25 career home games.
Watt and the rest of the Steelers defense will be challenged this Sunday as they host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans at Heinz Field. Their 2-0 start has the Steelers tied with the Baltimore Ravens for 1st place in the AFC North.