Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the NFL over the last decade.
He’s thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the last four seasons in which he started at least 15 games. He passed for 4,952 yards with 32 touchdowns and just nine interceptions in 2014, and came 62 yards shy of hitting 4,000 yards again last season despite missing four games for Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger is now 34 years old and among the older starting quarterbacks in the league now. Nevertheless, the Steelers believe that Big Ben has three to four more peak seasons left in the tank.
“Ben’s a franchise quarterback,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “There are a few that have two [or more Super Bowls since 2004], but he’s one of those few. We’re very fortunate. We still have, you know, we think three to four more good years in his prime. We’re excited to see what he can do in that time period and what we can do to help him be successful.”
And even without Martavis Bryant (who was suspended for the 2016 season), the Steelers’ offense has weapons everywhere. Le’Veon Bell will be back from injury and is a massive threat as a runner and out of the backfield in the passing game. Antonio Brown is still there. So is Markus Wheaton. And while they will miss Heath Miller, the addition of Ladarius Green should help minimize the loss.
With such a strong receiving corps to work with, there is no reason to expect Roethlisberger to slow down in the near future. The only concern would be due to injuries and he’s missed 13 games since the start of the 2010 season.
Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and even Matt Hasselbeck played until at least age 40. Tom Brady will likely do so as well. Roethlisberger could reach the plateau as well before calling hanging up the cleats for good.