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Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers heading for new contract

Team president Art Rooney II chose not to extendBen Roethlisberger's contract last July, opting instead to lock up young nucleus players such as Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert and Cortez Allen.

Now that Roethlisberger is entering the final season of an eight-year, $102 million contract signed back in 2008, there is more of an urgency to reach a new agreement.

"I think it is fair to say the sooner the better," Rooney said Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "But I am not going to put any particular time frame on these things. It is kind of hard to predict how long it takes to get something done. But we certainly want to get something done this offseason. That's for sure."

As one of the NFL's top half-dozen quarterbacks coming off his best statistical season, Roethlisberger can expect more than $50 million in guarantees and at least $20 million annually on his next contract.

Rooney added that he's "not expecting a problem" in reaching common ground with Roethlisberger's camp.

In addition to the franchise quarterback, Rooney stressed that he would like to find a way to bring impending free agent pass rusher Jason Worilds back to Pittsburgh.

Playing under the transition tag, Worilds led the Steelers in sacks for a second consecutive season in 2014.

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