Ben Roethlisberger says he cares about Super Bowls, not record-breaking contracts

This offseason, Ben Roethlisberger has watched quarterbacks named Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan sign record-setting contracts. Put together, those three quarterbacks have led their teams to two fewer championships (no, I'm not giving Garoppolo credit for being Tom Brady's backup) than Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion. So, it's worth wondering, when is Roethlisberger going to demand a new deal?

On Sunday, Roethlisberger, whose contract expires in two seasons, told ESPN that he's unconcerned about his contract situation, saying he's more concerned about Super Bowls and making sure his teammates get paid. 

"I care about record-breaking Super Bowl wins and things like that -- that's more important to me," he said.

"I have two years on my contract. I'm not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract. That's not my job. My job is to play football. I'll let my representation, the Steelers worry about all that stuff. To me, it's all about going out and playing now. I think there are a lot more, maybe a lot more important people who need to get their deals done now. For me to do it two years out, if it doesn't make sense for the team, I'm not going to sit here and worry about it."

It's not like Roethlisberger won't be well compensated in the near future. Over the next two seasons, he's scheduled to earn $46.4 million. His $23.3 million income in 2018 ranks ninth among all quarterbacks with Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, Joe Flacco (yikes!), Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Cousins, and Russell Wilson positioned ahead of him, according to Spotrac. Big Ben might be better than some of those quarterbacks, but he's also older (36 to be exact) and has contemplated retirement in the past, though he now says he's planning on playing 3-5 more years, which means he's planning on signing at least one more NFL contract. It's somewhat convenient timing given the Steelers just used a third-round pick on developmental quarterback Mason Rudolph -- or inconvenient timing depending on your point of view.

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So long as his numbers don't nosedive, which probably won't happen due to his stellar supporting cast, Roethlisberger should remain one of the better quarterbacks in football in the tier directly below the one that houses Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. He's coming off a 4,251-yard season that saw him throw 28 touchdowns and 14 picks. Over the past three seasons, he's completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 12,008 yards (more than 4,000 per season), 78 touchdowns, 43 picks, and a 94.4 passer rating. 

So, the thing is, as Big Ben alluded to, the Steelers have other guys they need to pay, like Le'Veon Bell, who has been franchise tagged once again. And by the sound of it, Roethlisberger would rather play with Bell even if that means he's not making quite as much money. 

"It's important, too, to understand as quarterback of this team, sometimes you almost have to leave a little bit of money behind for other guys," Roethlisberger said. "That's not my job, that's not my thing to worry about. That's why I have agents."

Then again, this is all talk one year before he enters the final year of his contract. We'll have to wait and see what happens a year from now. In the meantime, the Steelers and their quarterback can take satisfaction in knowing that they have just as good of a chance as any team not named the Patriots at reaching the Super Bowl.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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