Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has told former teammates and those within the team that this will be his final NFL season, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Roethlisberger, 39, has been publicly mum about his status after the 2021 season, which is his 18th in the NFL. His contract with the Steelers, which was re-worked before this season, will automatically void after 2021 and he is scheduled to become a free agent for the first time in his career.
Ben Roethlisberger privately has told former teammates and some within the organization that he expects this to be his final season playing quarterback for the Steelers, league sources told ESPN.
More coming ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, with a special start time at 9 am ET.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 4, 2021
Roethlisberger has thrown for 2,522 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 starts for the Steelers, missing one game due to COVID-19 protocols.
His 64.6 completion percentage is right in line with his career total, but his passer rating of 88.9 represents his worst season as a pro since 2008.
He has also been sacked 24 times, which is already tied for the most since 2014, and this is the second straight season that Roethlisberger has been among the league leaders in shortest time to throw.
Mason Rudolph, who started the one game that Roethlisberger missed in 2020 and in 2021, is the heir apparent on the current roster, though the Steelers are expected by some to look outside the organization for Roethlisberger’s successor.
The Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls and has been selected to six Pro Bowls.