Ben Roethlisberger on Steelers Tenure: ‘I’ve Been Here Long Enough’

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers

Getty Ben Roethlisberger doesn't believe the Steelers will ask him to come back.

Ben Roethlisberger is all but indicating that the ride is over.

The long-time Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback revealed to reporters on Friday, December 30, that the Steelers’ home clash versus the Cleveland Browns will likely be his final game at Heinz Field. In the process of revealing that bit of information, Roethlisberger finally addressed the retirement rumors with an almost-resounding answer.

While it’s not yet definite that Roethlisberger is calling it a career after 18 seasons, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the 39-year-old changes his mind.

Roethlisberger’s personal intentions following this season are now known. However, we don’t know for sure where the Steelers stand on this issue. Is the organization OK with Roethlisberger walking away? Will the Steelers want Roethlisberger back for one more season considering there is no stable replacement in place?


Roethlisberger on Tenure: ‘I’ve Been Here Long Enough’

The veteran quarterback seemed to answer that question himself on Friday. As Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports, Roethlisberger is open to a return — but only if the Steelers need him to. However, Big Ben doesn’t think that’ll be the case.

“No, no, I don’t think they’ll ask me to come back. I think I’ve been here long enough,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m sure you can go back to my very first press conference because some of you guys were here, all I ever said I wanted to do was win. That’s what’s most important to me. So, that’s what is going to be most important, going out, I don’t care if it’s 3-0, just to win a football game because it’s so important for our season right now.”

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Roethlisberger Can’t Carry Steelers by Himself

The Steelers are currently 7-7-1 and technically still in the playoff chase. They’re just a half-game behind the Miami Dolphins for the final wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. However, this season has been anything but a smooth ride for Pittsburgh.

While Roethlisberger has pulled off a few miracles — fourth-quarter comebacks versus the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans have been highlights of the season — it’s clear that he looks old and hobbled. The veteran still takes care of the football — his INT percentage of 1.6% ranks fifth in the NFL — but it’s also obvious he can’t move or throw the football deep as he once did.

Roethlisberger’s sack rate of 6.4% ranks 19th in the league and his adjusted net yards per pass attempt ranks a similar pedestrian-level 20th in the NFL.

The Steelers do possess quality young players — Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris — that have yet to hit their primes. Giving them an extra year to develop could make a major difference when it comes to supporting an old Roethlisberger in 2022.

But again, it’s all a matter of whether or not the Steelers want to entertain that idea. If not, that means Pittsburgh will likely either aim high for their next franchise quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft or find a veteran bridge option via free agency or trade.

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