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Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger Agree To Contract Extension

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced the signing of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a contract extension.

It was assumed that the Steelers and Roethlisberger would come to an agreement this off-season as Ben was headed into the final year of his previous deal, which paid him $102 million over eight years.

Owner Art Rooney II and Roethlisberger held a press conference Friday afternoon to announce the new five-year deal. Roethlisberger's wife, Ashley, and his two children, Ben Jr. and Baylee, were also at the news conference.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

As well as Steelers' Chairman Dan Rooney, General Manager Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

"It's kinda hard to contain a smile when you're excited to be at a place like this, to be home and be able to be here for my whole career," said Roethlisberger. "Most of you have heard me for a long time say that this is where I've always wanted to be and where I want to spend my whole career, and this is giving me an opportunity to do that and I just feel very blessed to play for such a great franchise, great coaches, great teammates and the best fans in the world."

Financial terms were not immediately available but Roethlisberger and team president Art Rooney II both called it fair for both sides.

But on Saturday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Roethlisberger's new deal is worth $99 million with escalators that could bump it up to $108 million, per a source close to the situation.

According to CBS' Jason La Canfora, is guaranteed to make $60.75 million, but in all likelihood will be guaranteed $65 million in the first three years.

The 33-year-old Roethlisberger is coming off one of the best years of his career in which he threw for 4,952 yards, 32 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.

"We're looking forward to the future and know that Ben has a number of great years ahead of him and will continue to lead our team," Rooney said. "And right now, as most of you know, he owns most of our quarterback records, but there's still a couple of important records that we're going after in the next few years."

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said last month that negotiations with Roethlisberger had begun with the goal of keeping him in black and gold for the rest of his career. Colbert said at the time he believes Roethlisberger can remain among the NFL's elite for the better part of the next decade.

The extension comes as the Steelers have been trying to address other serious needs, mostly on defense. Jason Worilds, one of the league's better free-agent linebackers, announced his retirement earlier this week at age 27, even as he was poised for a big payday as a free agent. Pittsburgh signed Arthur Moats to a three-year contract on Monday.

Pittsburgh has typically tried to re-sign quarterbacks with two years left on their deals, but took a calculated risk last spring by not extending Roethlisberger's deal and instead addressing other roster issues.

The Steelers then returned to the playoffs as AFC North champions with an exciting offense built around Roethlisberger, running back Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.

For many Steelers' fans, Roethlisberger's new contract is terrific news.

"I think it's a fantastic idea. The guy's been great, took them to two Super Bowls, they went to a third one. I'm happy to see him probably finish his career in a Steelers' uniform," said John Buckley, a fan.

At 33-years-old, Roethlisberger would be 38 if he plays out the entire contact. It would be a great career.

"I'm very happy they kept him here and see him retire as a Steeler. Great football player, great football player for our city," said Darick Thomas, another fan.

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(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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