The Pittsburgh Steelers were finally able to sign quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a two-year contract extension several weeks ago and that now means he should remain the key cog in the offense through at least the 2021 season. During his recent one-on-one interview with Bob Pompenai of KDKA-TV, Roethlisberger was asked if he had any hesitation when it came to him recently signing his contract extension given his current age and if he’s yet to give any thought to continue playing more than three more seasons.
“That’s my wife’s call,” Roethlisberger first joked to Pompenai. “Yeah, you know, I was excited [about signing], obviously. I love it here. I feel great. My body feels great, my arm feels strong and I love the team that we have. And so I was humbled and honored to have the opportunity to be here for three more years and I’ve always fulfilled my contract with the Steelers. And so I’m going to give them everything I have for three years and at the end of that, we’ll talk again and see what happens – you and I will talk again and see what happens . But I’m going to give them everything I have for these three years and try and bring some Lombardis home.”
Pompenai then asked Roethlisberger to confirm that he might be yet another contract with the Steelers after the one he just recently signed ultimately expires.
“It could be, but I’m not gonna say yes or no,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m going to say that I’ve got three years to give everything I have to this team and this city.”
Roethlisberger turned 37 in March so it’s easy to do the math and see that his new contract he just signed will expire just after he turns 40 years of age.
After the Steelers signed Roethlisberger to his new contract, general manager Kevin Colbert let it be known that he is of the opinion that the veteran quarterback doesn’t have an expiration date despite him only signing a two-year extension.
“I know he doesn’t have an expiration date,” Colbert told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “We just felt that that was a foreseeable future that we were able to do, and he was agreeable to”, he said. “But I’m sure that he doesn’t have an expiration date. I know that he’s still very competitive. He still wants to do this at a high level”.
Colbert’s comments about Roethlisberger possibly playing into his 40s also came on the heels of Steelers team president Art Rooney II saying that he also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of that happening.
“You know, I’m not going to assume that,” Rooney told Bob Labriola in April when asked if he thought the contract that Roethlisberger had signed would be his last as a Steeler. “We have quarterbacks playing in this league into their 40s now. So, who knows? I don’t think we have to assume that. When you get into this age it’s still unusual for a player to play, let’s say, into his 40s, but it’s not unprecedented at this point. And I think Ben takes care of himself and takes care of body and loves the game. So I would say, who knows?”
A lot can obviously change with Roethlisberger between now and when his current contract expires. That said, there’s no reason to curtly think that Roethlisberger won’t ultimately play out his current contract and maybe even a few years more on top of it. At the bvery leasrt, it sounds like he’s not ready to rule out that possibility.