Since the time it was reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be waiting until after the 2014 season to offer franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a new contract there has been a lot of talk as to why the team has prolonged to do so.
Is the Rooney family planning for a future without Roethlisberger? Actions are usually taken to keep an athlete on the team well before he enters his contract year, if he is truly an asset, two years before he enters his contract year. Roethlisberger’s current contract is up after 2o15, and puts him at that two year mark.
From using him as trade bait to receive multiple early round picks in the draft to not even attempting to resign him at all, speculation runs rampant as to what Big Ben’s future in the NFL will be. Through it all, Roethlisberger has stayed adamant that he will continue to be the signal caller in Pittsburgh.
Imagine, if you will, an offense quarterbacked by Landry Jones – the Steelers’ current third string quarterback. Tasked with the responsibility of leading Pittsburgh’s offense after the release of Roethlisberger, Jones cannot handle the duties or expectations that came with being his successor, plummeting his team to a 4-12 record.
Scary, isn’t it?
That is the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers you can expect to see if Roethlisberger is not resigned. No other quarterback on the Steelers’ roster can bring to the field what Roethlisberger has done Sunday after Sunday for over a decade.
Though he may have turned thirty two years old this year, Roethlisberger is still more than capable of playing at a high level of football. For the first time since the 2008 season he started all sixteen games during the regular season, no doubt due to a steadily improving offense line, and offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s schemes designed to keep the most sacked QB in Steelers’ history off the turf.
Throughout the good times, as well as the bad, Roethlisberger has persevered throughout it all. From a Super Bowl victory to outlandish allegations, to a Super Bowl loss to the thirty games where he has lead the Steelers to come from behind to victories, Big Ben has proven he is what a quarterback in Pittsburgh should aspire to in the years after he leaves the sport for good.
The two time Super Bowl champion shows no sign of stopping, either. With as much talent on offense as he has at his disposal in nearly all of his career, Roethlisberger has all the tools he needs to prove to the Steelers’ brass that letting him leave Pittsburgh would, more than likely, be the biggest mistake that the franchise could make in the eight decade history.
There are plenty of contracts the Steelers must address this coming season. Jason Worilds is on a one year transition tag deal, Cortez Allen is on the last year of his rookie deal, and plenty of other personnel that fill up the depth of the offense and defense.
If it means letting any of these players go to keep Roethlisberger on the team, then so be it. If they do not the experience and play making ability at quarterback like they do with Big Ben, this team can enter a mudslide that many in Steeler Nation have been dreading. If you think a couple of .500 seasons are bad, with no Roethlisberger behind center, Pittsburgh can easily finish last in the AFC North for many years to come. He is that valuable to this team.
There are plenty that want him out of Pittsburgh, while just as many love the man for the excitement he brings to the game, and the level of dedication he has for his team. Throughout the years he has worked with the Steelers by restructuring his contract to help with cap space, and took less money that many quarterbacks in the league without amount of championships or skill that he has.
Its time to make the greatest quarterback in team history a Steeler for life. Its either than, or regret it for the end of time when he goes to another team and wins a championship there.