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Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger Says He Will Address His NFL Future After 2021 Season

Erin WalshDecember 6, 2021

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won't address his future in the NFL until after the 2021 season has concluded, he told reporters following a 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. 

"My focus is on Minnesota and what we have to do to get ready," Roethlisberger said. "I'll address any of the stuff after the season. I've always been a one-game-at-a-time, one-season-at-a-time person."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Roethlisberger "has told former teammates and some within the organization that he expects this to be his final season playing quarterback for the Steelers."

Schefter didn't add whether Roethlisberger planned to retire or play elsewhere in 2022. 

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also addressed the rumors about his quarterback following Sunday's win over the Ravens. 

"Ben doesn't allow it to become an issue," Tomlin said, per ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith. "Ben has been pretty solid in terms of his expressions that he's singularly focused on what we're doing now. He'll deal with those things on the other side of his journey, and I'm with him on it. So it's not a distraction. I thought it was funny that it was seemingly a story this weekend, to be honest with you."

Roethlisberger, 39, is in his 18th NFL season. There were some questions about his status this past offseason, but he ultimately returned after agreeing to a new $14 million contract with the Steelers in March. 

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Roethlisberger played adequately last sesaon, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. However, the Steelers lost four of their last five games and fell 48-37 to the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card. He threw for 501 yards and four touchdowns in that game but was also intercepted an unacceptable four times. 

The six-time Pro Bowler has also been serviceable this season. He entered Sunday's game against Baltimore completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 2,522 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. He completed 21-of-31 passes on Sunday for 236 yards and two scores in what was one of his better games of the year. 

If Roethlisberger does retire or play elsewhere in 2022, the Steelers could start Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins or explore quarterback options in the 2022 draft class, which includes Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell and Malik Willis. 

The Steelers are currently 6-5-1 and still have the opportunity to win the AFC North.  

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