Ben Roethlisberger likely played his final game for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but JuJu Smith-Schuster is holding out hope he comes back for the 2022 season.
"He has it all. I think Ben's still got it, honestly," Smith-Schuster told reporters after Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. "After this, I'm gonna go see Ben and go, 'Hey man, what's up? You coming back next year?' All the receivers, all the guys are trying to get him to come back. His journey, his future, is in his hands. I just wish him the best."
KimberlEY A. Martin @ByKimberleyA
JuJu Smith-Schuster said there was “no hesitation” about playing tonight and being back out there with “7.” <br><br>He said Ben Roethlisberger’s “still got it, honestly. I’m going to see Ben after this and say, “Hey, you wanna come back?” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HereWeGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/dxrMgvI7M8">pic.twitter.com/dxrMgvI7M8</a>
Roethlisberger has been widely expected to retire after the 2021 season, though he has not publicly disclosed his plans. He signed a one-year contract with the Steelers last offseason that hinted at one last go-around and then told reporters he is "looking forward" to what's next after the loss to Kansas City.
"As we move from one chapter to the next, it's gonna be different, but it's gonna be fun and a new challenge, and I'm looking forward to it," Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger ranks fifth in NFL history in passing yards (64,088) and eighth in passing touchdowns (418). His 13 playoff wins are tied with Brett Favre for sixth on the all-time list, and the Steelers won two Super Bowls with him at the helm.
Smith-Schuster may also be departing Pittsburgh this offseason after his one-year, $8 million contract expired. The slot wideout explored free agency last year before taking a short-term contract in hopes of boosting his stock, but a shoulder injury limited him to just five games.