The Steelers are expected to part ways with a few more veterans from their defense this offseason with safety Troy Polamalu, cornerback Ike Taylor, linebacker James Harrison and defensive end Brett Keisel all possibly at the end of their time with the team.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been teammates with those players for a long time and said Tuesday that he cherishes the time he got to spend with players he considers “brothers.” Roethlisberger has one year left on his own contract, but he isn’t thinking about following those players and other former Steelers out of Pittsburgh.
“This is as healthy exiting a season as I’ve felt. I felt as healthy throughout the season just cause of the offseason work I put in last offseason and I plan on doing that again this year. I feel great, I felt great all year, and we’ll continue to do that. Ultimately it’s up to the representation and the Rooney family to do something hopefully this offseason and hopefully sooner than later because I love being here with this family,” Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. “When the time comes, I’m sure [my agents will] come in town here before too long, whenever they start getting ready to talk to the Rooney family and we’ll sit down and we’ll discuss all the different options and possibilities and so when that time comes, I don’t think we’ll leave any stone unturned.”
Roethlisberger is coming off one of the best seasons of his career and there’s not much reason to expect a drop in 2015 when he’ll continue to count Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Heath Miller among his supporting cast on offense. Assuming the Steelers don’t have any concerns about Roethlisberger’s health — coach Mike Tomlin said at a Tuesday press conference that Roethlisberger may have knee surgery this offseason — an extension is probably of interest for both sides.