Ben Roethlisberger Wants to Play Beyond 2019, Says Steelers President Art Rooney

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger informed the organization he's planning to play beyond his current contract, which runs through the 2019 NFL season. 

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette passed along the update Wednesday from Steelers president Art Rooney II.

"It's good news and I hope we have the problem of trying to figure out how we extend his contract," Rooney said. "We haven't had a long conversation about that other than him saying he is interested in him playing beyond this contract. That's good news to me and certainly his play this year makes you feel like he does have a few years left."

Roethlisberger contemplated retirement last season before announcing in April 2017 he planned to return.

The 35-year-old Ohio native didn't wait nearly as long to share his plans this year, telling reporters after the team's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs he was coming back.

"I definitely have a desire to play football. I love this game. I love these guys. It's tough, it stings, you hate to lose at home. I feel bad because I feel like I let the fans down, let my teammates down," he told reporters. "I don't know about contracts and whose coming back but I know the guys up front are, and that makes it good for me, so I look forward to next year with those guys."

Rooney's comments are the first to suggest Big Ben is considering to extend his career multiple years.

Roethlisberger is coming off a strong 2017 season during which he completed 64.2 percent of his throws for 4,251 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 15 games. He ranked sixth among all qualified quarterbacks in ESPN's Total QBR.

Given his on-field performance and the lack of an heir apparent on the roster, the Steelers will likely be glad to keep him for as long as he's willing to play.

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