Big Ben Roethlisberger and The "age old" Question: Is it Time to Retire?
Big Ben has openly been contemplating retirement since the spring of 2017. Roethlisberger has gotten to a point in his career where retirement is a legitimate option, given his age and accomplishments. So now that the 2017 season has come to an end for the Pittsburg Steelers we are left with the question: Is it time for Big Ben to hang 'em up for good?
Big Ben's Legacy
Before we get into considering the different aspects of Big Ben's decision, it is important to understand the legacy Roethlisberger will leave behind. If Ben Roethlisberger retired today, he will get into the Hall of Fame. I will go into more detail on why in an article here, but for the purposes of this discussion here are a couple quick stats to make the point:
Big Ben's Rank
Career Passing Yards
Career Playoff Passing Yards
Career Passing TDs
Career Playoff Passing TDs
Carrer Wins by a QB
Career Playoff Wins by a QB
Will Age be a Factor?
Big Ben will turn 36 years old in March, this seems relatively old for a professional athlete right? Wrong. Roethlisberger can still play, he has been selected to the last 4 Pro Bowls and has made playoff runs in each of those years. In recent years both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have won super bowls at age 39. Big Ben has openly stated that he idolized John Elway growing up...Elway won a super bowl at age 38. Roethlisberger's game has not diminished one bit in recent years and I'm sure the success of Big Ben's peers late in their careers silences any doubt that he can perform into his late thirties.
Surrounded By Stars
The 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers' roster is arguably the most talent Big Ben has been surrounded with since his arrival. The Steelers led the NFL in pro bowl selections with 9, not to mention two players selected to 1st Team All-Pro (Antonio Brown and Le'veon Bell). Now you might argue the previous Steelers' rosters with dominant defenses had more talent, but in all three of Roethlisberger's Super Bowl appearances, the Steelers had no more than 5 pro bowl selections. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes were great offensive weapons, but neither were pro bowl selections in any of the years the Steelers went to the Super Bowl. With this talent on the roster, the Steelers are ready for another playoff run in the 2018 season.
Pro Bowl Player
With all this talent surrounding Roethlisberger, he won't need to take over games and throw for 450 yards to get a win. Big Ben is a veteran now, with all his experience he just needs to put his offense in the position for Brown and Bell to play like the superstars they are. At this point, all he needs to do is teach and orchestrate the show.
With all these reasons, I do believe Big Ben will come back for another shot at the championship. He's got time, he can still play, he has weapons everywhere and a player with the pedigree of Roethlisberger sure as hell isn't ending his career on a divisional loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.