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Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger begin contract talks

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Stephen A., Bruschi agree on the big problem with Big Ben (2:10)

Stephen A. Smith and Tedy Bruschi say that the problem with Ben Roethlisberger is that he does not have his teammates' back. (2:10)

Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II said Wednesday that the team has started contract talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his agent, Ryan Tollner.

"We've already started talking to him and his representative about extending that contract," Rooney said on a conference call with Steelers Nation Unite members. "I think Ben has some good years left. I'd still say he's close to being in the prime of his career.

"Now that we're seeing quarterbacks around the league that are playing into their 40s, I'm not sure there's any reason that Ben can't play for several more years. We're looking forward to that."

ESPN's Adam Schefter, citing league sources, reported earlier this month that the team was expected to restructure and extend Roethlisberger's deal before the new league year begins March 13.

Rooney hadn't specified last week whether those contract talks had started but hinted that would happen soon.

Roethlisberger, 36, has one year remaining on his current deal.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.