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Steelers reach terms with Roethlisberger on six-year deal

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  • Steelers reach terms with Roethlisberger on six-year deal

    Aug. 3, 2004 wire reports

    LATROBE, Pa. -- No Pittsburgh Steelers rookie has ever made as much money as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He didn't take long to start earning it.


    Roethlisberger, the 11th pick in the draft, signed a six-year contract Tuesday that could be worth as much as $40 million.

    The contract includes $22,269,500 worth 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.

    The deal, reached following lengthy talks that began early Monday and extended into Tuesday morning, includes a Steelers record $9,009,000 in bonuses: $600,000 (signing bonus, payable immediately), $1,172,000 (roster bonus, payable by Aug. 10) and $7,237,000 (option bonus, payable March 5).

    Three hours after arriving at camp, Roethlisberger attended a quarterbacks meeting. He will be on the field for two practices Wednesday, one at a high school before a crowd that could reach 10,000.

    "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."

    Ben Roethlisberger signs an incentive-laden six-year contract with the Steelers.(Getty Images)
    Roethlisberger was the third quarterback drafted in April, behind the Giants' Eli Manning and the Chargers' Philip Rivers, but Roethlisberger's agent, Leigh Steinberg, predicted he will be the best.

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

    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.

    The negotiations finally progressed when the Steelers agreed to pay Roethlisberger a larger bonus than the $8 million Houston gave cornerback Dunta Robinson, who was drafted No. 10 overall, one spot ahead of Roethlisberger.

    To get a larger bonus, Roethlisberger agreed to play this season for the minimum salary of $230,000. Previously, the Steelers' largest bonus was $8.1 million to former starting quarterback Kordell Stewart in 1999.

    "We felt that quarterbacks deserve a premium, and the Steelers ultimately agreed," said Steinberg, who flew to Pittsburgh on Sunday night to get the talks moving 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."

    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.

    Roethlisberger was 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.

    Roethlisberger's deal leaves five NFL first-round draft picks unsigned but gives the Steelers a full complement of quarterbacks in camp, which opened Friday. Coach Bill Cowher suggested Monday that the three quarterbacks in camp might be getting too much work and he was thinking about bringing in a fourth to relieve the workload on Maddox, Charlie Batch and Brian St. Pierre.

    Roethlisberger wound up missing four practices -- one Sunday, two Monday and one Tuesday.

    "Every meeting, every practice is invaluable, and hopefully he'll get caught up as much as possible," 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 plans to use some of his bonus money to aid the police and fire departments in his native Findlay, Ohio, to fund a scholarship at Miami, and to aid youth football in Pittsburgh.

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

  • #2
    Re: Steelers reach terms with Roethlisberger on six-year deal

    He's still, in my opinion, the best QB drafted this year.


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      Cornerback Ricardo Colclough, the second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the first player chosen from Division II Tusculum College, has reached agreement on his first NFL contract, a four-year deal worth $3.27 million.

      A small-school standout with big-time cover skills, Colclough is the fourth of Pittsburgh's eight draft choices to come to contract terms. But his signing is almost as significant from a league-wide standpoint, given the ponderous pace of negotiations this year.

      The 38th prospect selected overall, Colclough is the second-highest drafted player to date to reach an accord. The only higher pick with a contract in place is linebacker Jason Babin, the latter of the Houston Texans' two first-round picks and the 27th player taken overall in the draft. Colclough is just the third player in the second round, and the sixth player chosen in the first three rounds, to come to terms.

      Overall, as of Sunday morning, only 44 of the 255 draftees have completed deals. And 26 of those players are in the sixth and seventh rounds.

      While negotiations with first-round choices figure to remain slow, there should be a spate of signings in the middle and late rounds this week, as the opening of camps gets closer.

      Colclough, 22, will receive a signing bonus of $1,892,800 and minimum base salaries of $230,000 (2004), $305,000 (2005), $385,000 (2006) and $460,000 (2007).

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    • DJRamFan
      Groh agrees to new five-year contract with Virginia
      by DJRamFan
      Aug. 19, 2005
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      CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia football coach Al Groh agreed to a new five-year contract Friday that will make his annual compensation $1.7 million, a raise of nearly $1 million over the first contract he signed with the school.


      Groh went 30-21 in the first four years of his original seven-year deal, which will be superseded by the new contract, school officials said.

      The new deal calls for an annual salary of $240,000 and $1.46 million in compensation for fund-raising responsibilities, radio and television appearances and product endorsements. It also includes possible bonuses if Virginia goes to a bowl game.

      Groh's original seven-year deal included a salary of $200,000 and total compensation of $765,000 annually.

      "Coach Groh has provided strong leadership for the university's football program, and we want to ensure continuity in its future academic and athletic successes," athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement released by the school.

      The Cavaliers have won at least eight games and played in a bowl the past three years under Groh, who left after one season as head coach of the New York Jets to return to his alma mater and replace the retiring George Welsh in 2001.

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      Virginia opens this season at home against Western Michigan on Sept. 3.

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      Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
      -08-19-2005, 02:23 PM
    • DJRamFan
      Virginia Tech offers Beamer raise to more than $2 million
      by DJRamFan
      Aug. 23, 2005
      CBS wire reports

      BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech has offered football coach Frank Beamer a new contract that would boost his average annual compensation from $1.3 million to more than $2 million for the next seven years.


      "The university and myself believes that coach Beamer is the one who built this program, and we absolutely want coach Beamer to be here for the very rest of his career," athletic director Jim Weaver said Monday night on the weekly Hokie Hotline radio show.

      He said he hoped the deal could be completed before Virginia Tech's Sept. 4 opener at North Carolina State. The holdup is Beamer's refusal to agree to any new contract that doesn't include raises for each of his nine full-time assistant coaches.

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      Weaver said Beamer and his agent, Jimmy Sexton of Memphis, Tenn., asked him and other university officials to examine assistant coaches' salaries at other top programs and pay Beamer's aides accordingly. He said that analysis is in progress.

      "I'm not sure when we'll get to the end of the line, but we're committed to getting there," Weaver said.

      Beamer, 58, who is starting his 19th season as Tech's coach, signed his current contract in 2000. At the time, Beamer's salary and the combined $1.1 million being paid to his assistants ranked among the highest in the sport.

      Since then, coaches' salaries have skyrocketed, with several signing deals for $2 million or more annually. Virginia's Al Groh received a new deal last week worth $1.7 million this season and more than $2 million when the contract runs out in six years.

      Compared to other top programs, Tech's assistants are being paid below the norm. Seven schools in the Southeastern Conference paid their assistants an average total of $1.3 million in 2004.

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      The Associated Press News Service

      Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
      -08-24-2005, 07:07 PM
    • UtterBlitz
      Pro Bowl Receiver Ward, Steelers Finally Agree on Deal
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      PITTSBURGH (Sept. 5) - Wide receiver Hines Ward and the Pittsburgh Steelers reached terms Monday on a four-year contract, ending months of wrangling over a restructured deal less than a week before Sunday's opener against Tennessee.

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