The Pittsburgh Steelers signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a long term contract extension last offseason which should keep him in the organization through the 2019 season. While there has been some recent speculation that the team might look to the draft this year for an heir apparent to Roethlisberger, team president Art Rooney II pretty much put the kibosh on that during his Thursday talk with the media.
According to Will Graves of the Associated Press, Rooney said Thursday that’s too early to start planning for life after Roethlisberger.
Rooney: too early to start planning for life post BR. Says open to extension w/Le'Veon, doesn't need to see response to knee injury.
— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) January 28, 2016
“I don’t think we’re starting down that road of who is next after Ben,” Rooney said, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.
Rooney on Ben, who will be 34 soon: I don't think we're starting down that road of who is next after Ben. Not much sign of Ben falling off
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 28, 2016
So there you go. While the team might very well look to upgrade their backup quarterback situation during the offseason, you can probably forget about them drafting one in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Even though the injury bug bit Roethlisberger a few times during the 2015 season, he still played at high level. He will turn 34 in March and there’s no reason to think he won’t play out his current contract.
Roethlisberger completed 68% of his passes during the regular season for 3,938 yards with 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He missed four games, however, due to a left MCL sprain that he suffered in the team’s Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams.