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Ben Roethlisberger hopeful of deal

PITTSBURGH -- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expressed confidence that he and theSteelerswill agree to a new contract after the 11th-year veteran tied for the NFL lead with 4,952 passing yards and led the Steelers to an AFC North title.

Roethlisberger is entering the final year of the eight-year, $102 million deal he signed in 2008, and the Steelers hope to sign him to a contract that will allow the three-time Pro Bowler to finish his career in Pittsburgh.

"I felt great all year [on his contract situation]," Roethlisberger said Tuesday on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. "Hopefully it's sooner rather than later."

The Steelers normally sign their starting quarterback to a new contract with two years left on his deal. They tabled Roethlisberger's contract talks in July because of their salary-cap situation but said they have every intention of getting a new deal done after the 2014 season.

Team president Art Rooney II has said he wants Roethlisberger to retire as a Steeler.

He is slated to make $11.6 million in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $18.395 million, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Steelers could lower the cap hit for 2015 by signing him to a new deal.

Roethlisberger, who turns 33 at the beginning of March, is coming off his best statistical season. The 6-foot-5, 241-pounder became the first player in Steelers history to win at least a share of the NFL passing title. He established franchise single-season marks in passing yards and completions (408) and tied his Steelers record with 32 touchdown passes.

The Steelers' season ended Saturday night after a 30-17 loss to the visiting Baltimore Ravens in an AFC wild-card game. Roethlisberger threw for 334 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice in the Steelers' first playoff loss to the Ravens in their history.

Roethlisberger left the game in the fourth quarter after getting sacked by Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, and backup Bruce Gradkowski replaced him for three plays.

After the game, Roethlisberger said he had sustained "whiplash" on the sack. He said Tuesday on his weekly radio show that he did not sustain a concussion.

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