Following the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ disappointing playoff exit, star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s future has remained all the talk. Roethlisberger has yet to decide what his status will be for the 2021 campaign. As he moves through the process, one of his former Steelers’ teammates has voiced that he should step into retirement.
Ben Roethlisberger meets with Art Rooney II
The last few weeks have seen the Steelers steadily distance themselves from Ben Roethlisberger.
Last month, Pittsburgh signed former Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins. On top of that, General manager Kevin Colbert sent a louder message with his recent non-commitment answer to Roethlisberger as the team’s future under center. (H/T NFL.com)
“Ben Roethlisberger did a lot of really good things last year and we anticipate that he could still do some good things moving forward,” Colbert said. “Hopefully, there is a way we could try and figure out and do what’s best for the organization and do what’s best for Ben. And hopefully, he will be able to do that and feel the same way we do.
The situation took another interesting turn on Tuesday as Roethlisberger met with team president Art Rooney II. The meeting reportedly went well between the two, leaving the door open to a return.
With Roethlisberger still indecisive, one of his former teammates didn’t hold back how he feels about the situation.
Ben Roethlisberger’s former teammate believes he needs to retire
Since the Steelers’ 2020 season came a disappointing close, there remains doubt concerning Ben Roethlisberger’s NFL future.
With Pittsburgh airing a lack of commitment to their star quarterback, his former teammate Ike Taylor recently gave some blunt advice. During an interview with TMZ Sports, Taylor stated that Roethlisberger should head into retirement.
“I think [Ben] should shut it down and the reason why I think Ben should shut it down is because he’s done everything he possibly can,” Taylor said. “I think Ben did everything he could.”
Roethlisberger has accomplished it all with the franchise behind two Super Bowl wins and holds numerous franchise records. Taylor added that he believes that the 38-year-old will set the organization back a few years if he returns for another season.
The rest of the NFC North have found their potential franchise cornerstones with young talents in Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Baker Mayfield. Meanwhile, the Steelers hold an unclear future ahead at the position.
“The reason why I think you’re setting them back is because you’ve seen the progression in Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow — before he got hurt — and Baker Mayfield.” Taylors said. “So, we’re talking about three young quarterbacks in one division. Who you going to pick last?”
There isn’t any clarity concerning what lies ahead of Roethlisberger with his NFL future, but there clearly those that believe it’s time for him to step away.
What will happen next in Pittsburgh?
As the Steelers venture forward into the offseason, the franchise will look to quickly gather clarity on Ben Roethlisberger’s NFL future.
The signs are there that Pittsburgh wants to move on not only through signing Dwyane Haskins but also publicly distancing him from the team’s long-term plans under center.
Roethlisberger is on the books for roughly $41.2 million in base salary and bonuses for the 2021 season. That alone would suggest that he would return to at least finish out his contract.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are giving off the vibe that they would be fine with him stepping away. Until Roethlisberger provides the team an answer, the franchise can’t fully move forward with their offseason plans.
Ultimately, the ball is in his court to decide what lies ahead in his football career.
Contract numbers courtesy of Spotrac.