Ben Roethlisberger On Steelers’ QB Situation, Future Plans

Having seen probably the best Steelers team since at least the Super Bowl XLV-qualifying version fail to win a playoff game, Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t seem to be too thrilled about the franchise using a key resource to draft his possible replacement and not a player who stands to help the team this season.

I was surprised when they took a quarterback because I thought that maybe in the third round, you know you can get some really good football players that can help this team now,” Roethlisberger said during an interview with 93.7 The Fan (via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). “Nothing against Mason (Rudolph); I think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid. I just don’t know how backing up or being a third [string] — well, who knows where he’s going to fall on the depth chart — helps us win now.”

The Steelers used their first-round pick on safety Terrell Edmunds and chose another wide receiver in former Rudolph Oklahoma State target James Washington. But they made their biggest quarterback draft investment since Roethlisberger with their third 2018 draft choice.

The 36-year-old quarterback is going into his 15th season. Roethlisberger said quickly after the Steelers’ loss to the Jaguars that he would return for the 2018 season, and he’s said he now wants to play beyond his current contract. That deal runs through 2019. However, this abrupt declaration came in stark contrast to how Roethlisberger proceeded after the 2016 season, when he went weeks without committing to return in 2017.

Fowler notes the reaction around Steelers headquarters was positive, but now he wonders if the team believes he’s going to be playing into his late 30s.

I wanted them to know so they wouldn’t have to worry about drafting a quarterback,” Roethlisberger said. “I wanted to make sure there were no questions. Once they drafted a quarterback in the third, I wasn’t sure if they believed me or not. But I’m committed to it.”

Making his sixth Pro Bowl, Roethlisberger also made it through a season without missing games due to injury for the first time since 2014. The Steelers may be ready to extend Roethlisberger beyond his current contract, which features $23.2MM cap numbers in 2018 and ’19, this offseason. But he appears to be more concerned about whether Le’Veon Bell will be extended and would be fine with Pittsburgh brass tending to his own deal next year.

To me, there are more important pieces that need to be taken care of besides myself,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ve got two years left, this one and one more. I want to go out and do the best I can. To me, it’s about addressing it next year. But if they feel they want to talk and address something this year, we will obviously talk and listen.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Ben Roethlisberger On Steelers’ QB Situation, Future Plans

  1. El Duderino

    Why was 6 afraid of 7?

    Because 7 is Ben Roethlisberger and he’s a rapist.

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    • I am so sick of this guy, can’t wait until he’s out of the league.

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      • BapTheMailman

        Same here…What a jerk…Can’t stand the Steelers because of him

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    • lucienbel
      lucienbel

      Agreed. It’s weird to see Ben even pretend to be surprised they drafted a QB too. “Oh I told them I wasn’t going to retire so they wouldn’t draft a QB” even though that’s entirely contrary to what he’s been saying for almost 3 years now. Then act surprised the team doesn’t 100% believe you. Plus, it isn’t like Mason Rudolph is a start now kind of guy anyway. They were going to have to start taking guys to prep behind him soon anyway with his age and injury history.

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  2. The Ghost of Bobby Bonilla

    Ben’s a great QB, but he only has himself to blame. He started this retirement talk by throwing a temper tantrum becuase he hated Todd Haley. Steelers are smart to have a legit Plan B in place so they don’t suffer from the Dan Woodley, Mark Malone, Bubby Brister dark days again. Remember Bradshaw was the exact same age as Ben when injury ended his career even though he planned to play several more years.

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    • cka2nd

      Not a Steelers fan, but in hindsight – probably decided in the 90’s – I always thought they should have waited a year and drafted Neil Lomax instead of Malone. Might have gone to another Super Bowl or three with Lomax.

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  3. The whole Big Ben retirement talk started because Ben himself questioned if he still had it in him to continue playing yet he questions the Steelers’ commitment to him? Can’t really call out Brown, Bell, or any other Steelers’ players attitude when their leader might be the biggest diva of them all.

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  4. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    If Ben’s IQ were over 90, he’d have 3 more rings and be considered the best QB to ever play.

    But his IQ is not over 90, so instead…he’s the most talented doofus to ever play QB and has had an inconsistent career marked by embarrassing himself constantly.

    He’s legitimately the toughest QB of his era while being the biggest drama queen (Ex. he’ll play hurt but he makes sure every single person on Earth knows he’s playing hurt so they can give him his proper praise, etc.) at the same time. Hard act to pull off.

    Rudolph said all the right things.

    Ben said all the things you’d expect Ben to say.

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  5. julyn82001

    Well, you get all those bruises in a tough sport like football is and that is not good. Don’t blame Ben for talking about retirement at all. Great QB.

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    • lucienbel
      lucienbel

      I don’t think anyone is blaming him for talking retirement. Just blaming him for whining about them trying to find his back up when alls he did was talk retirement.

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  6. Z-A

    Reason to draft a QB: Landry Jones contract going forward. Jones makes 1.9M this year and a 2.2M Cap Hit, Also he is a UFA next year.

    Mason Rudolph will make: 480k-750k with a cap hit of 715-985K. So you need a competent back-up QB. This lets them cut ties with Landry at the end of the season. Dobbs will remain the 3rd string QB, unlikely to ever see the field.

    This move will free up at least 1.5M in cap space for 3 seasons, minor? Sure, but also means they could use that towards a competent starter/fringe starter on the OL or Defense.

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  7. 2012orioles

    Why did they give up on Dobbs so quickly? They not like what they’ve seen so far enough to draft a qb third round? I don’t blame either side of this. Ben can question the pick and be more concerned about winning now but no faulting the Steelers for planning ahead

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