Ben Roethlisberger strongly hints at retirement, says Monday night likely his last game at Heinz Field
Time is winding down for “Big Ben.”
The Steelers quarterback has long been rumored to be stepping away from the game, but on Thursday, Roethlisberger pretty much confirmed what has been speculated since before the start of the 2021 season: That this could be his last.
Speaking with reporters, when asked as to whether or not the Week 17 matchup with the Browns will be his last home game, Roethlisberger didn’t announce his retirement officially, but he made it clear that it will likely be his last game at Heinz Field.
Ben Roethlisberger won’t speak in definites, but he says “all signs” are pointing that “this could be it” his last game — at least regular season — at Heinz Field. pic.twitter.com/9jlhR99Kty
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 30, 2021
“I don’t ever speak in definites or guarantees, that’s just not what I’ve ever done, or who I am, but looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing to — this could be it. Regular season, that is. I know that we still have, a chance potentially to get a playoff game there if things fall our way and take care of business, things have to happen.
“But in the grand scheme of things, in terms of regular season, signs are pointing that way — that this could be it.”
He also added that he wouldn’t entertain a return to the field in 2022 if the Steelers called him up in a pinch.
Roethlisberger, who was drafted No. 11 overall by the Steelers in 2004, has been rumored to be stepping away from the team for some years, but 2021 has all but solidified his future standing.
During the past offseason, drama and speculation surrounding Roethlisberger’s future was amplified by contract re-negotiations with the team. As it stands, Roethlisberger has a void year on his deal in 2022, meaning this is his last true year under contract with the team.
The Steelers (7-7-1) are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, and have games remaining against the Browns in Week 17 and the Ravens in Week 18. Not exactly the most forgiving defenses to play against in the last two weeks of Roethlisberger’s career.