Pittsburgh Steelers longtime center Maurkice Pouncey announced his retirement on Friday and with him now no longer playing there’s heavy speculation that his decision to step away this offseason might impact the decision of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to return for the 2021 season. After breaking Pouncey’s new Friday morning, former Steelers guard Ramon Foster was asked during an interview on 93.7 The Fan if he has any inside on Roethlisberger and where his mind might be now that Pouncey has decided to retire.
“With Maurkice, you know, bowing out right now, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with seven [Roethlisberger],” Foster said. “It would be beautiful if he would let me break his story, too, but Ben’s a franchise quarterback, hall of fame quarterback, he’s going to deserve all the flowers and more for whoever he chooses to break his story whenever that is. That might be after next year, but he hasn’t told me.”
So, Foster really doesn’t know what Roethlisberger has possibly decided or which way he might be leaning when it comes to him playing in 2021 now that Pouncey, who has been his center since 2010, has decided to retire. Roethlisberger reportedly said Friday morning that he’s yet to talk to the Steelers about his status for the 2021 season after reports late last week indicated the two sides were planning to meet at some point this week.
Should Roethlisberger decide he still wants to play in 2021 and the Steelers decide they want to go in another direction without him, could we see the Steelers longtime franchise quarterback wind up playing for another team to close out his NFL career? Foster was essentially asked that question Friday morning.
“Going to another team? I just don’t know,” Foster said. “I highly doubt he would go to another team unless he just surprises me. Again, when we talked about Ben a second ago, I said he’s a guy that wanted to be ten toes down on the field and you’ve got to drag him off. You talk to Willie Colon; he’s going to say the same thing. If Ben thinks he’s got something left in the tank, and he does think that, I know that for a fact he’s going to try to give his all. I just don’t know if it’s going to be in Pittsburgh.”
Roethlisberger is due a $15 million roster bonus just days after the start of the 2021 league year on March 17 so he and the Steelers essentially have a little more than four weeks to discuss the quarterback’s future and how his contract will be handled so as his cap number can be lowered some if he’s to play at least one more season. Usually, we hear updates on Roethlisberger’s contract on around his March 3 birthday and so I fully expect to hear whether he’s staying or going by then at the latest.
“I mean, he’s [Roethlisberger] supposed to have a conversation with Mr. Rooney and Kevin [Colbert] and coach [Mike] Tomlin, so it’s yet to be seen,” Foster said Friday morning.