Will Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ultimately play out his current contract? It’s hard to say at this point and right now it doesn’t appear as though he even knows for sure.
“I’ve got to take it year by year at this point,” Roethlisberger recently told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m never going to look past any year because I want to give everything I have to that year. I’m not worried about next year. I have to win now. I think we can. I believe we have just about everybody back. I want to see what we look like as a team that’s a year better.”
Roethlisberger, who expectedly announced ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft that he would play in 2017 after announcing immediately after the 2016 season ended that he wasn’t ready to commit to doing so, is currently under contract with the Steelers through the 2019 season. The quarterback told Cook that just because he’s thought a little bit about retirement doesn’t mean that he should which is something the late Chuck Noll used to preach when he was the head coach of the team
“A lot of guys think about their future. Look at James Harrison [who retired briefly in August 2014] …
“I hope the people of Pittsburgh know me well enough to know I love football, I love Pittsburgh and I love the Steelers. My teammates and Steelers fans are going to get 110 percent from me. They don’t need to worry about getting anything less.”
On the surface, at least to me, it still appears as though Roethlisberger’s post-2016 comments were more out of frustration than anything else. With that said, he is 35 years of age now and has three young children and a wife to think about. He’s also taken more than his fair share of hits over the years and that has resulted in several surgeries.
Just in case 2017 does ultimately wind up being Roethlisberger’s last season in the NFL, the Steelers drafted quarterback Joshua Dobbs out of Tennessee in the fourth-round last weekend in hopes that he just might be able to beat the odds and eventually be the one to take over under center at some point down the road. It will be some time before the Steelers know if Dobbs will be able to, however, and hopefully we’ll get to watch him make some progress later this summer during training camp and the preseason.
All that matters at this point is that Roethlisberger will play in 2017. From there, it won’t be surprising if he takes some time again after the season comes to an end to figure out if he wants to play again in 2018. Hopefully that decision will need to be made after the Steelers win their seventh Super Bowl championship, which would be Roethlisberger’s third.