Some (i.e., me) think that Tom Brady continues to suggest he’ll be playing for years into the future so that he’ll never have a farewell tour. For Ben Roethlisberger, every year officially will now be a potential farewell tour.
In an interview with Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger made it clear that he’s now on a year-to-year arrangement.
“It’s just, it’s 14 years; that’s a long time,” Roethlisberger said. “I think the average life expectancy in the NFL is three years, maybe three-and-a-half now. . . . I’ve been blessed to do this a long time. I think it’s just seeing my kids growing up, and in the offseason I love getting to spend time with them, and then I come here and football season just has to take up so much of your time. Even when you get home, I try my best to turn it off when I walk in the front door. I think I do a pretty good job of that, but it still consumes you in a way.”
Roethlisberger also mentioned concerns about head injuries, adding that his wife “would be OK if I hung it up, too.” But he said he still loves his teammates, making it right for him to return for another year.
He won’t commit beyond this year. And there’s a chance, in theory, that he’ll decide at some point during the coming season that he doesn’t want to play another one. At that point, the farewell tour officially would begin.
Followed by the retirement. Followed by, possibly, the First Annual Unretirement.