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Report: Ben Roethlisberger not ready to retire, plans to play for Steelers in 2021

Liz Roscher
·2 min read
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Ben Roethlisberger, longtime quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, isn’t ready to call it a career.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that 38-year-old Roethlisberger intends to fulfill the final year of his contract and return as Steelers QB in 2021. Why? Schefter says that the QB is enjoying himself too much to hang it up yet.

“... after this season, which has taken a physical toll on him, sources around Roethlisberger believe the two-time Super Bowl champion is having too much fun and likes his team too much to walk away from it after the 2020 season.”

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

None of that is hard to believe, especially since Roethlisberger played just six quarters of the 2019 season before injuring his elbow so badly that he needed reconstructive surgery. He missed the game and his teammates, and is thrilled to be back, and it probably helps that he’s also having an above-average season.

The 2021 season would be Roethlisberger’s 18th in the NFL, all spent with the Steelers. There are some fans who can’t remember any other Steelers quarterback but him. For people who are not fans of the Steelers, who have been waiting for Roethlisberger to retire, it must feel like he’s been the Steelers’ quarterback for the entirety of the modern era. He’s always been here. He will always be here. We will never escape him.

He’s not the only one. Drew Brees is 41 and has been in the league since God was in short pants. Tom Brady has been playing so long that he practically invented football. Roethlisberger is of that ilk, the quarterback who can’t resist the siren call of the gridiron and plays forever. However, he did recently discuss what it would take for him to retire.

“If I don’t play good enough football, I need to hang it up” Roethlisberger said after the Steelers’ 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills, their second straight defeat after starting the season 11-0.

At least Roethlisberger has set a bar for his future retirement. And despite his low passer rating (he’s 20th in the NFL after Week 15), and his reliance on short passes and quick releases that have become increasingly easy to defend, he’s not there quite yet.

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