Way back on April 16, 1996, quarterback John Elway reportedly signed a five-year, $29.5 million contract extension with the Denver Broncos. However, after playing the first three years of that contract and having just won back-to-back Super Bowls, Elway decided to retire at the age of 38 on May 2, 1999 and with two years remaining on his deal. Because of the way that Elway went out on top, some are seemingly starting to wonder if the Pittsburgh Steelers own No. 7, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, might consider retiring should he win another Super Bowl or two before the three-year contract he signed this offseason expires.
During an interview late last week on SiriusXM NFL Radio, former Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski asked Roethlisberger if he ever thinks about the possibility of him duplicating what Elway did 20 years ago, should he indeed win another Super Bowl or two in the next few seasons.
“You know, that’s tough,” Roethlisberger said. “I mean, obviously I want to win another Super Bowl, it’s crazy to think [it’s been] 10 years. It makes you appreciate like how hard it is to actually do it, you know, and I think it makes you appreciate like what [Tom] Brady’s done. I mean, it’s just crazy. So, you know, the goal is to bring another Lombardi back here to this city. And, you know, that’s kind of what everyone thought, ‘oh, you know, if he wins one he’s going to walk out.’ And obviously that’s the way you want to go out, but if you still feel you got something left in the tank, you can’t give it up too early.”
Immediately after answering that question, Roethlisberger was asked to disclose what the process is that he now goes through after a season is over to determine if he wants to play in the next one.
“Well, you know, I just signed a new three year deal, so for me, I’ve always honored my contracts,” Roethlisberger said. “So, my goal is to play these three years and give it everything I have. Obviously, because of this sport, there’s a lot of unforeseens, right? Injuries and things that, you know, we can’t predict. That would be about the only thing I think that would keep me from honoring my contract and even then, obviously I would do everything I could to keep doing it. But as long as I feel like I can perform at a high level and I’m not hurting my team, then I want to be out there and give it everything I have trying to win.”
In summation, Roethlisberger firmly intends on playing out the three-year contract he just signed this offseason, barring any serious injury or extreme slippage in his overall play occurring. Even if the Steelers were to win the Super Bowl this season and the following season, it’s still hard to imagine Roethlisberger retiring at that point and especially if he believes he has a legitimate chance at a three-peat, and thus winning one more Super Bowl than former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw did during is NFL career.