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Steelers ink 'Big Ben' to three-year NFL contract

By AFP
media Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed a new three-year contract with the NFL club, the team announced Wednesday GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger, a 37-year-old quarterback who has spent 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, has signed a new three-year contract with the club.

The Steelers announced on Wednesday they had inked a new deal to replace the one which had one season remaining, the contract linking "Big Ben" to the Steelers until his 40th birthday in March 2022.

"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.

"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."

Roethlisberger had the most productive campaign of his NFL career last season, completing 452 passes for an NFL-best 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also went on a club-record run of 13 games with at least 250 yards and a touchdown passing.

"I'm 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'm as excited to be a Steeler in year 16 as I was when they drafted me. They will get my absolute best."

Roethlisberger ranks sixth in NFL history in career passing yards with 56,194 and seventh in career pass completions with 4,616 and all-time touchdown throws with 363.

"Big Ben" has guided the Steelers into the playoffs nine times. In 2006, he became the youngest quarterback to win a Super bowl at 23 when he led the Steelers over Seattle in Super Bowl 40.

Three years later, he guided Pittsburgh over Arizona 27-23 on a game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds remaining.

"You can't sum him up in one word or sentence," Steelers offensive guard David DeCastro said. "It's those intangibles. He is the ultimate competitor. He wants to win, needs to win, and he proves it. It all goes through him. He is a special player."

Roethlisberger had been set for the final season of a four-year deal worth $87.6 million that he signed in 2015.

Bringing back "Big Ben" adds stability to a club that lost free agent rusher Le'Veon Bell after a year-long holdout and receiver Antonio Brown in a trade to Oakland.

 
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