Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert On Contract Status, Ben Roethlisberger

Last summer, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert indicated he did not want to enter into a multi-year extension with the team, as he prefers to take things on a year-to-year basis. Earlier this month, the 63-year-old signed another one-year contract with the club to remain in his general manager post through the 2020 campaign.

But in a meeting with Steelers beat writers today, Colbert indicated he is not thinking about quitting anytime soon. “As long as the Rooneys and the Pittsburgh Steelers want me to be a part of this organization and it’s a good thing for our family, we’ll be here,” Colbert said. “I’m not looking to ever go anywhere else again as long as the Rooneys and the Steelers are interested in me” (Twitter link via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com).

So while Colbert may prefer the flexibility that his one-year extensions afford him, it sounds as if he will continue to lead the Pittsburgh front office for as long as the team wants him to and for as long as his personal life permits. And for good reason. Colbert joined the Steelers in 2000, was promoted from director of football operations to GM in 2010, and has helped build two Super Bowl-winning teams and 12 playoff squads over the years.

In his conversation, Colbert also discussed the status of QB Ben Roethlisberger. We heard in December that Big Ben is expected to make a full recovery from surgery to reattach three tendons in his right arm, and Colbert said today that he believes Roethlisberger’s rehab is going in the right direction (Twitter link via Pryor). The veteran signal-caller has a checkup in Los Angeles on February 21.

Colbert further indicated that the injuries that plagued JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Vance McDonald last year would not impact their long-term availability (Twitter link via Pryor). And in other Steelers news, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets that the Steelers are expected to hire a new WR coach any day now. The team is deciding between Jerricho Cotchery and Bryan McClendon.

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Ben Roethlisberger Vows To Return

Ben Roethlisberger brings Steelers fans good tidings and great news for the holidays. After wishing Merry Christmas to his followers, Roethlisberger vowed to return to the field in 2020. 

[RELATED: NFL Playoff Scenarios For Week 17]

Contrary to recent reports out there about my football future and my ‘uncertainty’ about playing again, I am working hard and am more determined than ever to come back stronger and better than ever next year!,” Roethlisberger tweeted.

At one point, there were rumblings that the QB had some doubts about playing again. But, earlier this week, ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen heard the Steelers are confident that Roethlisberger will make a full recovery.

Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges held down the fort for the Steelers this year, with mixed results. Rudolph’s shoulder injury landed him on IR earlier this week, so the Steelers will be hitching their playoff hopes to Duck’s wagon in their Week 17 matchup against the Ravens.

Roethlisberger was sharp in 2018 with career-highs in completions (452), pass attempts (675), passing yards (5,129), and touchdowns (34). He also started in all 16 games, something he hadn’t done since the 2014 campaign. On the other hand, he led the NFL with 16 interceptions.

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Steelers Believe Ben Roethlisberger Will Make Full Recovery

The Steelers believe quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will make a full recovery from his elbow surgery, ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen (on Twitter) hears. Big Ben went under the knife on Sept. 23 to reattach three tendons in his right arm, but team doctors seem to think that he’ll be good to go in 2020.

Although the veteran has not been cleared to resume throwing, Roethlisberger is trending in that direction. The Steelers, meanwhile, are keeping their fingers crossed, since Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges haven’t been consistent in his stead.

Roethlisberger, 38 in March, recently inked a lucrative contract extension that will should him under club control through 2021. At the time, GM Kevin Colbert said that the contract would likely be Big Ben’s last.

“What [Roethlisberger] wants is more Super Bowls. And he wants to continue to try to win, and we’re gonna support that,” Colbert said. And that was a big part of why we were willing to do what we did, and now it’s our job to help him help us get there.”

Big Ben has earned six Pro Bowl nods in his 16-year career. Without him for most of the season, the Steelers have still managed an 8-7 record, setting them up for a do-or-die Week 17 game against the Ravens. A Steelers win coupled with a Titans loss to the Texans would give them a Wild Card berth and a shot at another ring.

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Injury Notes: Big Ben, Massie, Rankins

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery today, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The veteran is expected to be ready for the 2020 season. This optimism is similar to what we heard yesterday when we learned about Big Ben’s impending surgery.

Schefter adds that Roethlisberger had surgery on his right elbow. The operation was done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache (in consultation with team physician Jim Bradley) in Los Angeles. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky notes (on Twitter) that this is the same surgeon who operated on Aaron Rodgers collarbone back in 2017.

“Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season,” the Steelers said in a statement (via Schefter).

We learned yesterday that the procedure would repair a muscle tear, and it didn’t involve any ligaments or tendons. Roethlisberger is expected to begin throwing by the spring, and it sounds like he should be good to go come next season.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bears right tackle Bobby Massie was forced to sit out tonight’s game against the Redskins due to a bout with vertigo, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). The illness apparently popped up today, and it’s uncertain if this is a temporary or long-term issue for the 30-year-old. After starting each of his 46 games during his first three seasons in Chicago, Massie added another two starts to his resume this season.
  • On Saturday, the Packers placed offensive guard Lane Taylor on the injured reserve with a biceps injury, and we now have a bit more clarity on his outlook. Demovsky reports (via Twitter) that the 29-year-old will ultimately need surgery on his left bicep. While the veteran could return from the injured reserve in late November, the operation may sideline him for the rest of the season. Taylor started a pair of games this season before suffering the injury.
  • There’s a chance that Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins sees this field next Sunday night, but Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets that the 25-year-old is more likely to return in Week 5 or Week 6. The 2016 first-rounder has yet to play in a game this season as he recovers from his Achilles injury. After compiling a career-high eight sacks during the 2018 regular season, Rankins suffered the injury during the divisional round of the playoffs.

Ben Roethlisberger Expected To Make Full Recovery

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has vowed to return to the field, and to that end, the two-time Super Bowl champ will undergo his season-ending elbow surgery this week, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

Luckily for Roethlisberger, he will not require Tommy John surgery, so Schefter’s sources say there is no concern about the signal-caller’s availability for 2020. “There is complete optimism that he will be ready to roll next season,” one source said. “No one is concerned that next year is going to be a problem.”

Although Schefter says the exact nature of Roethlisberger’s elbow injury remains unclear, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the procedure will repair a muscle tear and does not involve any ligaments or tendons (which is in keeping with the report that TJ surgery is not required). JLC adds Big Ben’s recovery plan will include throwing in the spring.

In the meantime, Pittsburgh is not throwing in the towel on the 2019 campaign, as evidenced by the team’s trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick earlier this week. The club has expressed full confidence in second-year QB Mason Rudolph, and both La Canfora (in a separate piece) and Schefter remind us that the Steelers were so enamored with Rudolph — and so convinced that the division-rival Bengals were locked in on him — that they leapfrogged Cincinnati in the third round of the 2018 draft to select him. At the time, then-Bengals HC Marvin Lewis said he felt as though the Steelers had bugged the Bengals’ war room.

In fact, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Steelers had a first-round grade on Rudolph, which is why they believe they can remain competitive this season.

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Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger Vows To Return

Ben Roethlisberger is done for the year after suffering a serious elbow injury and many have speculated that this could ultimately end his career. But, Big Ben, who turns 38 in March, says that won’t be the case. 

[RELATED: Big Ben Done For Year]

The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship-level play,” he said (via ESPN.com).

Thanks to his three-year, $80MM extension, Big Ben is under contract through the 2021 season. Before the injury, the buzz was centered on whether Roethlisberger would, or would not, play beyond ’21. Many doubt that Big Ben can bounce back and play next season, but both the quarterback and head coach Mike Tomlin believe he will.

He fully intends to come back from his injury, and everything we’ve heard, we’re comfortable that’s a strong possibility,” Tomlin said.

For now, the Steelers will turn to Mason Rudolph with the newly-promoted Devlin Hodges as his backup.

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Steelers Place Ben Roethlisberger On IR, Promote QB Devlin Hodges

Mike Tomlin confirmed Ben Roethlisberger will miss the rest of this season due to the elbow injury he sustained Sunday, and the Steelers moved quickly to adjust their quarterback depth chart. The team placed Roethlisberger on IR and promoted Devlin Hodges from its practice squad.

Recently re-signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad, Hodges was with the team in the preseason. He completed 20 of 38 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Hodges won the Walter Payton Award, given to Division I-FCS’ top player, in 2016 while at Samford.

This will mark a major change for the Steelers, who in 2018 had Josh Dobbs installed as Roethlisberger’s backup. Dobbs is now in Jacksonville, and Hodges will back up Mason Rudolph. The Steelers just extended Big Ben this offseason. He is under contract through the 2021 season.

Pittsburgh plans to look for another quarterback, with the likely hope the to-be-determined acquisition will be stationed between Rudolph and Hodges on the depth chart, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets.

The Steelers took Rudolph in the 2018 third round. Big Ben was critical of the pick, as it used an asset on a developmental quarterback rather than a position player who could help immediately. Unless the Steelers bring in a veteran backup, they will find out plenty about Rudolph this season.

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Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger Done For Year

The Steelers’ worst fears have been confirmed. On Monday morning, head coach Mike Tomlin announced that Ben Roethlisberger‘s season is over. 

The quarterback was hoping to avoid surgery after suffering an elbow injury over the weekend, but doctors came back with bad news after looking at his scans. With that, Mason Rudolph now becomes the Steelers’ starting QB.

The Steelers traded Josh Dobbs to the Jaguars last week, leaving Rudolph as their only other signal caller on the roster. The club is now expected to promote Devlin Hodges from the practice squad to serve as Rudolph’s backup, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

Before this, Roethlisberger hadn’t missed a game due to injury since Week 7 of the 2016 season. Obviously, this wasn’t a good time for his luck to run out – the Steelers are 0-2 after being blown out by the Patriots in the season opener and Sunday’s tough loss to the Seahawks.

Roethlisberger might not have the support of former teammate Antonio Brown, but he was sharp in 2018 with career-highs in completions (452), pass attempts (675), passing yards (5,129), and touchdowns (34). He also started in all 16 games, something he hadn’t done since the 2014 campaign. Though, in the interest of equal time, we should mention that he also led the NFL with 16 interceptions.

Advanced metrics lauded Roethlisberger’s work as well, as he finished fourth in Total QBR and eighth in adjusted net yards per attempt. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger ranked fifth in Football Outsiders‘ DYAR, which measures value over a replacement level player, and eighth in DVOA, meaning he was effective on a per-play basis.

Thanks to the three-year extension he inked in the offseason, Roethlisberger is under contract through the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger To Miss Time?

A decision is expected today on whether Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will need elbow surgery, league sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Big Ben, naturally, wants to avoid the operation, but that will ultimately be determined by medical professionals. 

Roethlisberger has not missed a game due to injury since Week 7 of the 2016 season. He’s always been tough, durable, and able to play through the pain, but this injury probably sideline him for at least some time.

Surgery or no surgery, the Steelers figure to turn to Mason Rudolph as their starter beginning in Week 3. After Big Ben exited, Rudolph went 12-of-19 for 112 yards, two scores, and an INT.

This, of course, is the last thing the Steelers wanted. They’re 0-2 to start the year and, making matters worse, they’re waiting for word on the knee injury suffered by running back James Conner.

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AB Fallout: Gruden, Steelers, Contract, Doss

One of the crazier sagas in modern NFL history concluded Saturday. The Raiders released Antonio Brown after voiding his guarantees, setting themselves up for another potential decision on Brown requiring an arbitrator. Jon Gruden addressed the decision, which came a day after he said Brown would play in Week 1 against the Broncos.

We just have exhausted everything,” Gruden said. “We tried every way possible to make it work. And all I’m gonna say is it’s disappointing. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I’ll tell you, I’m very proud of what we did as an organization to try. I wish Antonio the best. I’m sorry we never got a chance to see him in silver and black. … I just don’t think it worked. It didn’t fit here.”

The Raiders’ top receivers going into Monday night’s game are now Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson. They drafted Hunter Renfrow and kept Ryan Grant over Gruden Hard Knocks favorite Keelan Doss.

Here is the latest from this round of AB fallout:

  • Brown did not completely morph into the polarizing figure he now is until Week 17 of last season, a sequence that began his Pittsburgh exit. A 2012 date sticks with some Steelers figures, however. A day after Brown received the first of his two Steelers extensions (July 28, 2012), he engaged in a heated exchange with Steelers defenders and then-DC Dick LeBeau at a training camp practice, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com notes. Another component in the Brown saga, per Robinson: Steelers owner Dan Rooney‘s death. The late owner was a Brown supporter, and Robinson adds Brown “took it hard” when the organization prioritized Ben Roethlisberger over him. This is a bit strange because the Steelers did not give Big Ben his latest extension until Brown forced his way out, though the team did back Roethlisberger after Brown’s Week 17 became an amazing run of drama.
  • Drew Rosenhaus mentioned this Brown saga indeed could become a legal situation, regarding the released wideout’s $29MM-plus in guarantees, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). “We’ll do what’s best for Antonio. We will speak with the NFLPA,” Rosenhaus said, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). While the Raiders no longer employ Brown, their part in this process does not look to be over. If Brown were to win a grievance, the Raiders could be tagged with $29.125MM in dead money, ex-GM Mike Tannenbaum tweets. The Steelers are already eating $21.12MM in 2019 dead cap charges.
  • Interestingly, the Raiders tried to bring Doss back after releasing Brown. But the Jaguars moved to give the rookie UDFA a full veteran-minimum salary to keep him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (video link). Doss will become by far Jacksonville’s highest-paid practice squad player, making an active-roster minimum of $495K. The practice squad minimum is $8K per week.
  • Any team that signs Brown will guarantee 25% of his 2019 salary, per OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald (on Twitter), because of termination pay rules. However, if one of the other three teams playing on Monday night — the Texans, Saints or Broncos — sign Brown before their respective games (extremely unlikely), Brown’s salary would be fully guaranteed.
  • Count the Saints out, however, with Sean Payton quickly indicating (via NOLA.com’s Herbie Teope, on Twitter) his team will not pursue the volatile All-Pro. This figures to be a theme, but there will certainly be teams that investigate this situation for a possible free agent signing.