Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Cleveland Browns in the wild-card round, Ben Roethlisberger sat on the bench by himself, perhaps contemplating his future. Later he was joined by his good friend and teammate Maurkice Pouncey, and both players were at a loss for words after the demoralizing setback.
Waning seconds. Best friends. Decade-long teammates. Always vowed they'd keep playing as long as the other did.pic.twitter.com/tEHvtV0LBT— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) January 11, 2021
Against the Browns, Roethlisberger threw for 501 yards on 68 attempts, but he did throw four interceptions and the first snap of the game went flying over his head and was recovered by the Browns for a defensive touchdown.
Online sportsbook Bovada has listed odds on whether Roethlisberger will retire, with No the big favorite at -500 and Yes coming back at +300.
Will Ben Roethlisberger Retire?
Odds as of January 14 at Bovada
Why Big Ben Won’t Retire
Ben Roethlisberger has spent his entire 17-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning two Super Bowls. He ranks seventh all-time for most passing yards by a quarterback with 60,348 and is without a doubt a future Hall of Famer. This season, the Steelers were 11-0 before dropping four of their last five regular-season games. They had one of the best defenses in the league before injuries to Devin Bush and Bud Dupree really played a factor.
Roethlisberger missed most of the 2019 season with a right elbow injury. In his return this year, he played in 15 games and threw for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He has one more year left on his contract and the Steelers will probably give him every chance to come back.
According to Next Gen Stats, Roethlisberger had the NFL’s fastest average time to throw in 2020. His arm strength isn’t what it used to be, but he was still very efficient, especially in the red zone.
Ben Needs An Improved Run Game
One thing that hurt Big Ben this season was the lack of a ground game. The defense was good enough when healthy to keep games close, and the receiving trio of Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster proved to be among the best in the league. The odds are strongly in favor of Roethlisberger returning for the 2021 season at -500, and if the Steelers could add more of a ground game, it would help alleviate the burden on him.
He did suffer a minor knee injury midway through the season in a game against the Dallas Cowboys but played through it and didn’t miss a game because of it. Roethlisberger has suffered many injuries over his career and I think personally for him it’s not about worrying about injuries like perhaps Alex Smith, it’s more about finishing out his career on his terms.
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Odds Shark Staff Mon, Sep 26, 4:51pm