The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Maurkice Pouncey will go through with his threat and retire when Ben Roethlisberger does.
Explanation: Pouncey has already said many years ago that he plans to retire when Roethlisberger does, and as time goes on, it looks more and more realistic. Both have two years remaining on their deals, at the end of which Roethlisberger will be turning 40 and Pouncey will be turning 33, should they play another season beyond their deals.
For as much energy as Roethlisberger may say that he has right now, once he goes through a full season’s worth of work, new elbow or not, he’s going to be reminded of just how grueling an NFL season is. And he’s not going to want to put his arm through too much more of it.
I believe him when he says that he will honor his contract, which runs through two more years. and I believe Pouncey when he says he will retire when Roethlisberger does. In two more years, he will have played 12 seasons in the NFL, which is already a long career.
And there is the possibility that Roethlisberger comes back for another year or two. If he does, Pouncey will be motivated to stick along with him.
Outside of the specialists, there is no position that has a longer shelf life these days than quarterback. heading into the last season, Roethlisberger actually said that he felt he could play beyond the life of his contract. It’s not unreasonable to believe that he could play another five years if he wanted to, which is probably longer than Pouncey could handle.
Alternatively, if Roethlisberger’s elbow injury doesn’t actually go as planned, he may be forced into early retirement. I don’t think Pouncey will retire before his current contract is up, either. Not only does he have the money riding on it, he isn’t the type to walk away from a deal, and from his teammates.