Could the clock strike midnight for “Big Ben?”
Ike Taylor, former Steelers DB, won two Super Bowls with Ben Roethlisberger as his QB, but with Roethlisberger aging and a question mark at the QB position entering 2021, Taylor thinks it’s high time for Roethlisberger to file his retirement papers.
Speaking with TMZ, Taylor offered some advice to Roethlisberger: Either hang ’em up or get to training.
I think 7 (Roethlisberger) should shut it down. And the reason why I think 7 should shut it down, he’s done everything he could possibly can. Whatever you’re asking for a quarterback to do, as many opportunities to win Super Bowls, I think 7 did everything he could do. If 7 wants to come back, 7’s gotta get on this Tom Brady regiment. He’s gotta really hone in in the offseason and get some of his mobility back. ‘Cause right now in the NFL you can’t just be a pocket — unless you got an offensive line, like a Tom Brady — you really can’t be a pocket quarterback, they’re becoming extinct right now. You gotta have some kind of mobility.
And if Roethlisberger decides to lace up the cleats for another season?
You’re setting them back a year, or two, or three. I think 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. So we’re talking about three young quarterbacks in one division. Who are you gonna pick last? I’m not talking about the accolades, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl, I’m talking about 2020. Who are you picking last?
Taylor reinforced that there’s nothing wrong with walking away (obviously) and acknowledged that it’s a difficult decision for some players to make, both reasonable statements. Taylor said that if the Steelers decide to run it back with Roethlisberger, then the run game needs to be at the forefront, with Roethlisberger taking charge.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has been non-committal on Roethlisberger’s future in recent weeks, but the organization has been open to bringing Roethlisberger back in 2021 — at the right price. Roethlisberger currently has a cap hit of more than $40,000,000, a hefty number, and the highest of any QB in the NFL.
Sitting at No. 24 in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Steelers also may have some options to replace Roethlisberger with a young signal-caller of their own, or they may choose to scour the trade- and free-agent markets for a future QB.
All the options are on the table for Pittsburgh, but the eyes are squarely on “Big Ben” for their next decision to be made.