2021 could be the final season for Ben Roethlisberger. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Roethlisberger has privately told former teammates and some within the organization that he expects this year to be his final season playing quarterback for the Steelers. It’s not likely Roethlisberger will announce the news publicly as the Steelers are looking to secure a playoff spot. But sources told ESPN Roethlisberger is approaching this season as if it’s his last.
Roethlisberger is 39 years old and is in the final year of his contract. He spent his entire 18 seasons with the Steelers, which is the most seasons with one team by a quarterback in NFL history. It’s likely Roethlisberger could retire from the NFL since he has said he’s not looking to play anywhere else.
Currently, the Steelers are 6-5-1 with five games remaining. If the playoffs were to start today, the Steelers would be on the outside looking in as they are in eighth place in the AFC standings. On Sunday, the Steelers earned a much-needed win, taking down the Baltimore Ravens 20-19. After the game, Roethlisberger was asked about the report of this season being his last with the Steelers.
“I haven’t told everybody that, no,” Roethlisberger said Sunday night, per ESPN. “Honestly, we just got done with this game, I’m exhausted. We play in a couple hours, it feels like. That’s my focus. My focus is on Minnesota and what we have to do to get ready. “I’ll address any of that stuff after the season. I’ve always been a one-game-at-a-time, one-season-at-a-time person. I’m going to stay that way.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin also weighed in on the report. “There’s nothing to manage,” Tomlin said. “Ben doesn’t allow it to become an issue. Ben has been pretty solid in terms of his expressions that he’s singularly focused on what it is that we’re doing now. He’ll deal with those things on the other side of this journey, and I’m with him on it.”
Roethlisberger was selected by the Steelers No. 11 overall in 2004. In his career, Roethlisberger has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. He also led the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances while winning two of them.