- Associated Press - Saturday, July 26, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.

And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

Yet at age 32 with small flecks of gray in his stubble, Roethlisberger knows he’s in the second half of a career that already includes two Super Bowl rings.

While he understands the NFL is a business, Roethlisberger has no plans to entertain the idea of taking his business somewhere other than Pittsburgh.

Not now. Not next summer. Not ever if Roethlisberger has his way. And as far as he knows, his boss - Steelers president Art Rooney II - feels the same. Until that changes for either side, concern over his status is nothing more than misguided speculation.

“I’ve always said it’s up to the good Lord and Mr. Rooney when I’m done,” Roethlisberger told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Translation: he’s not going anywhere.

Though Roethlisberger would have liked to have a new contract in place by the time the 2014 regular season opens, he is hardly worried about his future after Rooney announced on Friday the team will wait until next spring to iron out a deal.

“To get it signed and to have that security would have been nice, but there’s other plans and I’m OK with that,” Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger has two seasons left on the eight-year, $102 million contract he signed in 2008. It was one of the most lucrative contracts in the league at the time.

Now the average value ranks below contemporaries such as Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler, players who have yet to make a Super Bowl much less win it twice.

Pressed on if he pays attention to how much others who have lesser resumes but higher salaries are paid, Roethlisberger says only “it’s tricky.”

Don’t get him wrong, he’s aware of what he’s accomplished. He’s also aware the Rooneys need to find a way to pay 52 other players on the roster.

“I have faith that the Steelers will do what we need to do when it’s time and that’s putting people on the field through free agency, trades, draft everything to make us the best team we can possibly be,” Roethlisberger said.

If he sounds like a grown-up, maybe that’s because he is.

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