Steeler fans will cheer the latest news out of Pittsburgh, while defenses in Cincinnati and Cleveland tremble. Ben Roethlisberger, the bruising star quarterback who already has a Super Bowl victory, will remain in Pittsburgh for at least the next eight years. He’ll also get a nice fat paycheck out of it:

Ben Roethlisberger signed an eight-year extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers that makes him one of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

The team did not release financial terms, but ESPN.com reported Monday the deal is worth $102 million.

“Ben has been an outstanding leader on the field for the Steelers since his rookie year and we are very happy to know that he will be our quarterback for many years to come,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement.

Big Ben had a rocky 2006, but bounced back nicely in 2007. He threw 32 touchdowns against only 11 interceptions, but the team ran out of gas at the end of the season. They lost in the playoffs against a Jacksonville team that had gone in the opposite direction in the second half.

If Ben keeps his motorcycle helmet on his head, the investment is well worth it. Roethlisberger plays Pittsburgh-style football — hard-hitting, tough, and smart. He already is a fan favorite, along with his favorite go-to receiver Hines Ward. If they can keep themselves off the injured list, Pittsburgh will enjoy a long run of playoff appearances and perhaps more rings for Big Ben’s hand.

Tags: NFL