Ben Roethlisberger isn’t ready to be done playing.
That much was made clear by the 38-year-old quarterback deciding in 2019 to undergo elbow surgery to repair torn flexor tendons and undergoing a months-long rehab process in order to return to the field.
The decision to go forward with the surgery, which was detailed in the first episode of Bigger Than Ben, the documentary released by Roethlisberger on Wednesday, was apparently one that he was confident, telling his wife Ashley that “I’m not done.”
But how many years will the veteran passer and future Hall of Famer continue to play? Roethlisberger has made many public statements about that over the years, but as of right now, he’s not willing to put a timetable on it.
Speaking with reporters on a Zoom call on Thursday, Roethlisberger was mum about how long he wants to continue to play quarterback in the NFL, emphasizing that given the year he’s just had, it’s probably best to take it one day at a time.
“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play this year,” Roethlisberger said. “After missing last year, I can really only focus on this year. You realize that you can’t look past it. You can’t look past one game and one play. To me, I want to give everything I have this year and just really enjoy it because I didn’t get to last year.”
Roethlisberger has two seasons remaining on his contract and is set to earn $23.8 million against the NFL salary cap in 2020 and $41.3 million in 2021.
Of course, he’s not the only elder statesman passer in the NFL that is still going. Tom Brady signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will take him through his age 44 season. Drew Brees just inked a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints that will also see him turn 44 before the end of. So comparatively, Roethlisberger should still have some years on his arm.
“I’m not worried about those guys,” Roethlisberger said. “Each person is kind of different. Each person has different motivations in terms of their body, their families and focusing on winning championships. That’s what we all want to do.”