Is Ben Roethlisberger retiring? The question that started to circulate among Steelers fans has now spread throughout the league. The start of the 2020 NFL season was going really nice for the QB that some have recently dubbed as “Big Brees”. As the season wore on; however, his weaknesses have become more and more apparent– much like Brees, hence the nickname. His accuracy has slowly gone down the drain and Ben has also seen a slippage in arm strength. Teams are now daring him to throw deep and he is having trouble doing so. With all of this being said, the question must be asked.
Is Ben Roethlisberger Retiring?
There is much to be said about the great franchise that he has called him since he was drafted into the league. They have been known for finding gem receivers late in the draft as well as keeping their star players (when they also have star attitudes). Even with the surrounding cast being as nice as it is this year, we are seeing Ben is really just not able to put it together on offense lately. The team got to 11-0 mostly on a defensive dominant performance and lucky calls, but we are now seeing when push comes to shove, with the ball in his hands, he is just not able to get it done.
This year he ranks 15th in yards with 3,462, T-6th in TD’s with 30, and 21st in QBR with 60.1, per ESPN. Those aren’t the numbers we are used to seeing out of the pivot (outside of the TD’s), except for the interceptions which are 25th in the league with 10. All of this to say, he is far from the worst QB in the league, but if the Steelers really want to make a run in the playoffs and compete for a Superbowl, they must find quick improvement in their superstar QB.
The QB has stated recently that he still plans to continue playing into the next few years; however, he has also been open about the fact that if he can’t put it together, maybe he should hang it up. Of course, he has never been one to hide that he is close to retirement, which resulted in the Steelers reaching for project QB’s in the draft the past few years in an attempt to groom and replace Roethlisberger.
What Comes Next?
The team currently does not have any competent backups that would result in any more wins than Roethlisberger, so the team is lucky for now that he is still willing to play. However, with loads of talent in the draft and free agency market this year, the team would be wise to explore ways to improve at the position. Many have connected the team to struggling young signal-callers around the league to take a chance on such as Sam Darnold or even Jameis Winston.
If the team decides to move on, it is virtually a guarantee that Roethlisberger will retire rather than play for another team. He isn’t really a fit anywhere else, and it just isn’t likely a late 30s QB learning a new playbook and offense would be able to adjust quickly enough to be an improvement on veteran rosters. However, we are seeing an example of it this year with Phillip Rivers leading the Colts to a nice wild card or possibly even division-winning season. Is Ben Roethlisberger all to blame for the Steeler’s late woes? Definitely not; however, the team should be able to look to their superstar QB to make up for deficiencies and lead the team to more success.
Throughout history, we have seen QB’s struggle to come to terms with slippage in their play and hang it up. This has been the case for most superstar players in general when getting older. With this being said, I will rhetorically ask the question one more time: When will Ben Roethlisberger retire? For the sake of the Steelers, I would hope after this year so they are able to focus on moving on to the future of the franchise. Regardless, he will still go down as one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
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