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Big Ben signs with Steelers


I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Good for him. Too bad it's with the Squeelers :p . Pittsburgh got a good one.


Steelers give Roethlisberger largest bonus in team history

By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
August 4, 2004

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) -- With one stroke of a pen, Ben Roethlisberger made more money than the greatest Pittsburgh Steelers ever made.

Roethlisberger's agent, Leigh Steinberg, may be as biased as anyone, but he says the Steelers will someday consider the $9,000,900 in bonuses they'll pay the rookie quarterback a tremendous bargain.

Even if it is far more money than Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Ham and Jack Lambert -- the icons of the Steelers' franchise -- made during their entire careers.

``This is a franchise quarterback,'' Steinberg said Tuesday. ``I think he's a Troy Aikman, John Elway type of quarterback. He's that good.''

He's also that rich. Even before playing his first down with the Steelers, Roethlisberger was given the largest bonus in team history. Previously, the largest bonus was the $8.1 million paid former starting quarterback Kordell Stewart, another Steinberg client, in 1999.

Roethlisberger's six-year contract consists of $22,269,500 of salaries and various bonuses and $17,730,500 in incentives, including $4,875,000 in playing time bonuses easily reachable for a starting quarterback.

Because he's expected to be a backup this season, Roethlisberger could collect bonuses of $600,000 (signing bonus, payable immediately), $1,172,000 (roster bonus, payable by Aug. 10) and $7,237,000 (option bonus, payable March 5) even before he has started a game.

The Steelers initially wanted to give Roethlisberger a smaller bonus than Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson got but more than the $7.25 million that No. 12 pick Jonathan Vilma got from the New York Jets.

Roethlisberger is the first quarterback drafted by the Steelers in the first round since Mark Malone in 1980. He is expected to back up Tommy Maddox this season, but could move into the starting job as early as 2005.

Earlier this year, Maddox signed an incentives-driven contract extension through 2007 that included a $2 million pay hike this season. Maddox will go back to making backup-type money if Roethlisberger becomes the starter.

``Now that the contract's out of way, it's time for football,'' Roethlisberger said. ``I'm ready to do whatever is asked of me, whether it's be the backup or play third string.''

To get a larger bonus, Roethlisberger agreed to play this season for the minimum salary of $230,000.

``We felt that quarterbacks deserve a premium, and the Steelers ultimately agreed,'' said Steinberg, who flew to Pittsburgh on Sunday night to accelerate the talks with Steelers negotiator Omar Khan and team president Art Rooney II. ``A potential franchise quarterback always is a special sort of player to deal with.''

For now, Roethlisberger is just another player. Barely three hours after arriving in camp, he attended a quarterbacks meeting. He was scheduled to take part in two practices Wednesday, one before a crowd that could reach 10,000 at a local high school stadium.

Some of his game crowds at Miami (Ohio) weren't much bigger than that.

"I'm excited, nervous, all the same feelings I had at minicamp,'' he said. ``Once I get out and throw the first couple of passes, it will be a relief and I'm sure it will come back to me.''

Roethlisberger was the third quarterback drafted in April, behind the Giants' Eli Manning and the Chargers' Philip Rivers, but some scouts believe he has the most potential of the group -- even if it takes him longer to play. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Roethlisberger completed 854 of 1,304 passes for 10,829 yards at Miami of the Mid-American Conference, with 84 touchdown passes and 34 interceptions.

Despite a holdout longer than either he or the Steelers wanted, Roethlisberger wound up missing only four practices.

``Every meeting, every practice is invaluable, and hopefully he'll get caught up as much as possible,'' coach Bill Cowher said. ``Obviously, he'll need to spend some extra time getting caught up on the things we've put in, because there are new things every night.''

Roethlisberger's base salaries will be $230,000 (2004), $305,000 (2005), $655,000 (2006), $1,026,000 (2007), $1,356,000 (2008) and $1,707,000 (2009), which is payable on March 5, 2009.

His bonuses include $250,000 for rookie of the year, $500,000 for the Pro Bowl and $4,750,000 for finishing in the top five in various QB statistical categories. His playing time bonuses increase with time played and could reach as much as $975,000 a year if the Steelers make the playoffs.
It's a good situation for him, because Cowher will ride Maddox's tired ass one more season, then cut him loose, opening the door for Big Ben for the next 10 years, IMO.
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I have a feeling Browns fans are going to have that little factoid burned deep into their collective psyche over the next decade or so.

But look at the positives you have the f%&*ing soldja and Jeff"queer eye for the football players" Garcia instead. Btw,someone tell Garcia they call him "Big Ben" becuase he's tall, we don't need any ugly stalking incidents.

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Buckeye513 said:
He does sound a little gay, doesn't he?
I'll never forget a sound clip from last season from Garcia. I used to listen to Mark Patrick on Sports (MPOS) on my drive in and they played it every day. After a game where the 49'ers got beat, Garcia is being interviewed, and in that gay voice of his says, "I just didn't feel very crisp." It's one of those things you really need to hear to appreciate.
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Is that the same one where he was asking everyone on the sidelines for a breath mint? If you've never heard that one you are missing something.

He must ask everyone on the entire sideline for a mint and no one has any, so he finally just resigns himself to his fate and says "I guess no one appreciates fresh breath" in the faggiest-lisping voice you have ever heard!! I almost pissed on myself when I saw it on NFL films- it goes on for probably 10 minutes-absolutely classic.

If Garcia isn't gay he's missing one hell of an opportunity.
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I don't think it's the same one, but I do know what you're talking about. There's another funny one where he's on the sideline saying something like, "Gotta run the screen, gotta run the screen." Absolutely hilarious.
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