While there are many stars in the NFL today, there are few true franchise cornerstones at this point, largely due to free agency, player empowerment, and more causing big names to move around in pursuit of happiness playing a child’s game.
We’ve seen that in years past with Tom Brady shockingly leaving New England after 20 years, and now we’re seeing it with Aaron Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay.
Fortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers, their franchise cornerstone in one Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger has never wanted out or even hinted at the possibility, remaining in the black and gold going on 18 seasons now. Though his career is nearing the end, Roethlisberger remains one of the quintessential franchise cornerstones in the NFL, according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, cracking the franchise cornerstone top 10 list at No. 5.
Knox writes that age, resume, and positional value all played a key role in the rankings, which leaned heavily towards QBs with five inside the top 10.
“Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is included because of what he’s accomplished, not necessarily what he may have left. At 39 years old and set to play on a one-year deal, Roethlisberger may be approaching his last ride,” Knox writes. “What he has accomplished for the Pittsburgh Steelers, however, has been incredible. Big Ben has been synonymous with the Steelers since they drafted him in 11th in 2004, and the six-time Pro Bowler has been largely responsible for the franchise’s long run of relevance.
“Roethlisberger has twice led the league in passing, has 60,348 passing yards and has helped deliver two Lombardi Trophies to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have only missed the playoffs six times during Roethlisberger’s 17-year career. The last quarterback standing from the 2004 draft, Roethlisberger is the epitome of a franchise cornerstone. If he ever suits up for a different team, it will be an odd sight akin to seeing Joe Montana with the Chiefs.”
At this point in his career, it’s almost a stone cold lock that he would never play elsewhere, unless he has a terrific season in 2021 and the Steelers move on anyway. Regardless, Roethlisberger has very little left to accomplish in a Hall of Fame career, one that should see him inducted into Canton as a first-ballot player.
Roethlisberger is synonymous with the Steelers and will be long after his career ends thanks to all he’s accomplished on the field during his 18 seasons.
Seeing Roethlisberger placed so highly on this list from Knox was a bit of a surprise though, considering his age and his relative level of play compared to some of the other names on the list. Regardless, it’s nice to see Roethlisberger getting this type of love late in his career, garnering some of the respect that he deserves.