With two Super Bowl championships underneath his belt, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has enjoyed one of the better careers as an NFL player. The growth of Roethlisberger has been phenomenal to witness, to say the least. Since that faithful day in 2004 of Ben’s rookie season when then starter Tommy Maddox sprained his elbow and Roethlisberger was substituted in, Pittsburgh Steelers faithful knew he was special.
For ten years Ben has been disregarding defenders flying at his face, dipping and scrambling out of the pocket only to make miraculous plays one would see in a backyard pick-up game. With the plays comes the bumps and bruises of course. According to CBSSports.com, Roethlisberger is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league since 2006. With his age going nowhere but up, exactly how much longer should Pittsburgh hold onto Big Ben?
There are two common routes taken when athletes consider retirement. There is the Brett Favre way — where the athlete abandons his own team and still pursues a career past his glory days — and then there is the Barry Sanders road — retiring at the height of his career no matter the circumstances. Considering Roethlisberger is completing his highest passing percentage since 2009, it would be a shame to see Ben depart after the 2013 season. However, with the 2014 NFL Draft loaded with depth at the quarterback position, Pittsburgh’s front office must keep all options in mind.
Should the Steelers trade up in the draft to take a prospect like Tajh Boyd or Teddy Bridgewater? Absolutely not. Take care of the team needs first, like secondary and lineman issues. However, should AJ McCarron or Johnny Manziel slip into the second round, why not take a shot? Rookie quarterback Landry Jones has been given little to no action in a live NFL game so the light appears dim for Jones to emerge as the future signal caller for Pittsburgh.
As unfortunate as it seems, Ben’s days are numbered. While nobody truly knows when Roethlisberger will suit up for the last time, the Steelers front office would be ignorant to not address the future of the organization.
Donnie Druin is a writer for RantSports. Follow him on twitter @DonnieDruin