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To say that "Big Ben" has been monumentally important to the success of the Steelers over the years would be an understatement. This season seems to be setting up as a tough one for the franchise, as it was recently announced that Ben Roethlisberger would miss the rest of the season as the result of an elbow injury. The injury will require surgery that will keep him out for 2019. While the responsibility seemingly now falls to rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph, Big Ben is definitely the one making the big bucks. Regardless of what injuries might mean for Roethlisberger's future, he has racked up quite a nice nest egg over the years.

Ben Roethlisberger's Net Worth

Finding the estimated net worth of an athlete is very dependent on the source. According to Forbes, "Big Ben" has earned $230 million since starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His new 2-year extension with the Steelers is worth $68 million, and includes a $37.5 million signing bonus. His actual intrinsic net worth today is dependent on what he has saved, invested, spent and or donated during his career.

Ben Roethlisberger's Career

Born in Ohio, Ben Roethlisberger originally played as quarterback for junior varsity through his first two years of high school. He then played as a wide receiver for varsity in his junior year, before taking the No. 1 quarterback spot his senior year. After high school, Roethlisberger attended Miami University in Ohio, setting multiple school records in his three years starting. In 2004, Roethlisberger was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, with the 11th overall pick.

Roethlisberger was used by the Steelers early, as their lead quarterback, Tommy Maddox, was dealing with injuries. Roethlisberger had 13 starts in his 2004 rookie season. Some might say the rest is history. The next year, Roethlisberger led the Steelers all the way to the Super Bowl; becoming the youngest quarterback in history to win the Lombardi Trophy. Big Ben won his second Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2008. That season, he became the first quarterback in Steelers history to throw for 3,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.

Since then, there has been a gradual decline in Pittsburgh's performance, while the following few seasons saw continued deep runs, and another Super Bowl appearance in 2010, the team has deteriorated a bit since then. In 2014, Roethlisberger was the first quarterback in Steelers history to throw for 4,000 yards two seasons in a row.

Throughout his career, Big Ben has had more than a few injuries, and his seasons are traced with missed games linked to his injuries. Nonetheless, he has remained an integral part of their offense, and has maintained the stance that he hopes to play his entire career with the Steelers. He is by all accounts a franchise quarterback. His all time stats include 363 touchdowns, 191 interceptions, and 56,545 yards.

Controversies

Big Ben's career has not been without drama. In 2006, a much younger Roethlisberger gave die-hard Steelers fans quite a scare when he wrecked his motorcycle. The incident involved a broken jaw and nose. Because he wasn't wearing a helmet, many were displeased, and it prompted discussions about how NFL teams should structure contracts with injury clauses.

Then in 2010, the quarterback faced two allegations of sexual assault. The first involved a woman at a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. She accused Roethlisberger of raping her in a hotel room at a casino. The incident was eventually resolved with a settlement. Originally the lawsuit had sought $440,000 in damages. The second involved a woman in Georgia at a nightclub. The investigation into the second incident did not produce evidence that could prove any guilt on part of Roethlisberger, and he was never charged with a crime.

Endorsements

Roethlisberger is not the biggest name when it comes to endorsements. He lost quite a few deals in the aftermath of 2010. He used to be involved with a beef jerky company. A Pittsburgh-based food marketing company, PLB Sports, made a line of beef jerky called "Big Ben's Beef Jerky" until the company cut ties with the quarterback in the aftermath of the assault allegations.

Currently, Forbes lists his sponsors as Panini (maker of sports cards), Fanatics (a sports apparel company), Nike (NKE - Get Report) and Sprint (S - Get Report) .

What Does Big Ben Do With His Time and Money?

Obviously when the quarterback was younger, he spent a little more time partying, riding bikes, and putting himself in situations that lead to trouble. After marrying and having kids, the QB has slowed down quite a bit. He hosts an annual "Football ProCamp" where kids get to participate and learn. He's also a supporter of police dog care. Earlier this year his charity, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, donated $70,000 to police k-9 programs in Pittsburgh.

Looking past the history of fast motorcycles and party trips, if there's one thing where Roethlisberger does seem to spend his money, it's on some nice real estate. The quarterback recently listed his home near Gibsonia for $2.3 million. The seven-bedroom home has a mini arcade, a full golf simulator, a beautiful pool, outdoor space, six-car garage and three fireplaces. Considering his new $68 million contract, perhaps the quarterback is looking for a "nicer" place. Considering the extension on his contract, it's most likely he'll be staying in the area.

2019 Injury

Roethlisberger was injured in the second game of the 2019 season, leaving the field for the second half. So far, there haven't been many details on what the injury was specifically, but the ramifications for the Steelers could be significant. Some chatter has suggested it was an injury to his UCL (elbow). While Mason Rudolph nearly brought the team back in the second half to a late fourth-quarter victory, he's still lacking in the experience of veteran Roethlisberger, and could be tested greatly this year.

Now placed on the injured reserve list, Big Ben is out for the season. Projections for the team immediately shifted down, with an expected 6.6 wins over the season. SportsLine listed the chances of Pittsburgh winning their division to be 4.7%. It is the latest in a long list of problems facing the Steelers. Running back Le'Veon Bell left the franchise last year, and Antonio Brown ended up at the Oakland Raiders this spring. The drama around the wide receiver has been pretty popular, as his behavior eventually cost him his contract, and he was picked up by the New England Patriots.