Ben Roethlisberger says he doesn't think Jaguars-Steelers will be his last home game
Big Ben, who has considered retirement before, doesn't sound like a QB ready to call it quits
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spent the . He didn't . And then, over the summer, Clearly, retirement has been on his mind for a while now.
But Wednesday, Roethlisberger quelled the idea that Sunday's divisional-round playoff game against the Jaguars will be his last game at Heinz Field. He didn't fully commit to returning for the 2018 season, but he indicated that he's not ready to retire yet, saying "I don't think it is my last."
From the Steelers' website:
Q: On if he will savor this game a little more knowing with every offseason it could be his last game at Heinz Field:
Roethlisberger: "You have to treat every game like it could be your last, because you never know when it is. We saw an example of that earlier in the season with Ryan (Shazier). You never know when it could be your last. Hoping it's not his last. You have to go out and play every play, and enjoy every play and game, like it's your last."
Q: On if he thinks it is his last game at Heinz Field:
Roethlisberger: "I am not thinking about that right now. I don't think it is my last. I am not thinking about that. I am going out to play this one and give it everything I have."
Roethlisberger will turn 36 in March and he has been in the NFL since 2004. When he talked about retirement in the offseason, he mentioned his health as a reason he could walk away. That makes sense. Roethlisberger has already won two Super Bowls. If he decides to retire, he'll go down as a Steelers legend and a Hall of Famer. His legacy is secure.
But it's not like his skills have deteriorated to the point where he needs to retire. After a slow start this season, Roethlisberger pieced together another solid season, throwing for 4,251 yards, 28 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 93.4 passer rating. By Football Outsiders' metrics, he was the fifth-best quarterback in football. He's also under contract through 2019 and is scheduled to earn $23.2 million in each of his final two seasons, according to Spotrac.
And once again, the Steelers look like the biggest threat to the Patriots in the AFC. On Sunday, they'll host the Jaguars in the divisional round and if they win, they'll likely face the Patriots (who will host the Titans on Saturday) in New England with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake. As of Wednesday, the Steelers are seven-point favorites over the Jaguars.
So, even if Roethlisberger does decide to retire after this season, Sunday is unlikely to be his final game, though it would be his final home game assuming the Patriots take care of business against the Titans.
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