Monday, March 3, 2008

The Franchise Gets Paid; Steelers Close to Signing Moore

Back up the Brinks truck, because Ben Roethlisberger just got paid.

As Pat has already alluded, Big Ben and the Steelers agreed to an 8-year, $102 million contract extension with $36 million in guarantees that will keep Ben in Pittsburgh for the next decade or so. Obviously, this is a ton of money, but I'm just glad it got done. For all those years we went through with the likes of Bubby Brister, Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, and Tommy Maddox at the helm, it's nice to know we're set at the QB position for a long, long time.

I think the deal is fair for both sides. About two years ago, Carson Palmer signed an 8-year, $118.75 million extension with about $24 million in guarantees. While Ben's guaranteed money is more, you have to factor in inflation, and when you look at the insane signing bonuses being thrown around (like Bernard Berrian getting $16 million in guarantees), you realize that $36 million is the going rate for franchise QB's. Furthermore, we don't really know the hard numbers. For all we know, $13 million of the guaranteed money could be a roster bonus due in 2015 that Ben would never see. As I said, all in all it's a good deal for both sides.

In other news, ESPN.com is reporting that the Steelers are close to signing free agent running back Mewelde Moore. Moore was originally drafted out of Tulane in the 4th round by the Vikings and spent four seasons in Minnesota. Assuming he signs, I think he would fill a valuable role on this team. First, he's an above average punt returner, averaging 10.4 yards per return and taking two to the house in his four seasons with the Vikings. Second, he'd provide us with a true 3rd down back. He can block, and he is great out of the backfield as a receiver (116 catches for 1,093 yards in his career as a receiver, with a career-high 46 catches for 468 yards in 2006). Unlike Najeh Davenport, Moore would pose a mismatch to the opposing team's linebacker on third downs, and he would be a much better 3rd down check down option for Ben as defenders are bearing down on him. Think Kevin Faulk in New England. Will update this post if/when the Moore signing becomes official.

UPDATE: Moore has indeed signed with the Steelers. 3 years, $4.95 million, with a $1.35 million signing bonus. Very cap-friendly deal. I like this signing a lot. It's a typical Steelers move, getting a nice player at a very good price. Much better than spending $34 million on Michael Turner.

End of Post

1 comment:

Sam said...

The Turner and Moore deals really hammer home your last article. I don't think you can even say definitively say without a doubt that Turner is better than Moore (although he probably is) and he's averaging more than 3 times what Moore is making a year. Just insane. Which is why the Falcons will continue to suck.

I love the Ben deal. The fact that we got him for less than the Bengals payed for Palmer 2 years ago I think is a nice sign.