The Steelers remain open to signing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract this year, but it probably wouldn't happen until summer at the earliest – and might not happen at all, according to general manager Kevin Colbert.

The signings of Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, all of whom got huge deals in the last year, won't necessarily factor into any Steelers talks with Roethlisberger, who said last season he wants to play his entire career in Pittsburgh.

Roethlisberger is signed for the next two seasons, with base salaries of $12 million and $11 million and salary cap hits of nearly $18.9 million and $18.3 million. Based on the quarterback market, the Steelers are unlikely to be able to substantially lower the salary or the 2014 or 2015 cap hit unless they give Roethlisberger — who will be 32 next season – a lengthy contract.

“We'll get through free agency, get through the draft and see where we are,” Colbert said Sunday at the NFL meetings. “Traditionally we have done quarterbacks (contracts) two years out, but as (team president) Art (Rooney) stated, we may or may not be in a position to do something this summer.”

As for the multiple quarterback contracts in the $120 million range, Colbert said, “What happens in the market, you're aware of what's going on but it doesn't set the parameters. I believe the parameters that are set are set by the team and the player, what we would be willing to do and what the player is willing to accept. Sure, they know what so and so makes, but it's finding a common ground between two parties is what we're concerned about, not so much being in compliance with the league (and what other teams are doing).”

Colbert said the Steelers are “right on schedule” in free agency after signing safety Mike Mitchell, wide receiver Lance Moore and defensive lineman Cam Thomas and losing wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery, defensive linemen Ziggy Hood and Al Woods and cutting outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley They have several free agent meetings set up this week, including an early week meeting with Bills linebacker Arthur Moats and a late-week meeting with Patriots running back LaGarrette Blount. And they remain interested in free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew.