The Steelers rattled off 11 straight wins to begin the 2020 NFL common season, and all appeared effectively in Pittsburgh. The offense was buzzing with Ben Roethlisberger again in motion after a proper elbow damage stored him off the sector for practically the whole lot of the 2019 marketing campaign.

After which the dropping streak started. The Steelers dropped three consecutive contests from Week 13-15, falling to the Washington Soccer Staff, Payments and lowly Bengals. The offense grew to become predictable, and defenses pushed down towards the road of scrimmage, primarily daring Roethlisberger to show he may beat them deep. Pittsburgh received the AFC North title, however the end was not precisely inspiring.

MORE: Why it is time for Steelers to interrupt up with Roethlisberger

After the Steelers’ season ended with a loss to the Browns within the 2021 playoffs, it is now clear they should put together for the tip of the “Huge Ben” period. Roethlisberger, 38, was the fourth-oldest quarterback to take part on this postseason behind Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. There are solely so many throws left in that arm.

Will Roethlisberger select to hold on for no less than yet another season? Or will Pittsburgh should launch a brand new quarterback search quickly?

Will Ben Roethlisberger retire after 2021 NFL playoffs? 

Roethlisberger hasn’t publicly acknowledged how he’ll method his determination, however ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in late December that “barring a change of coronary heart, [Roethlisberger] intends to satisfy the phrases of a contract that has one season remaining on it after this one.” (Except the Steelers restructure Roethlisberger’s contract, the cap hit for subsequent season might be $41.25 million. If Pittsburgh cuts or trades him, it might be caught with $22.25 million in useless cap.)

Following the loss to the Browns within the wild-card spherical, Roethlisberger informed reporters he nonetheless enjoys taking part in soccer however did not go into a lot element about his future.

“I nonetheless have a 12 months left on my contract. I hope the Steelers need me again if that is the way in which we go,” Roethlisberger stated. “There will be a whole lot of discussions, however now’s not the time for that.”

Whereas a return seems to be the almost certainly consequence for the six-time Professional Bowler based mostly on the accessible info, it needs to be famous that Roethlisberger has severely thought of retirement earlier than. His spouse, Ashley, informed Roethlisberger final offseason that she would perceive if he wished to stroll away from soccer as an alternative of present process elbow surgical procedure and dealing his manner again to the sector.

“I informed him that I used to be solely going to say this one time,” Ashley stated within the “Larger than Ben” docuseries. “I wished him to listen to me after which mark my phrases, not gonna convey it up once more, but when he felt content material the place he was with the profession that he is had and it was on his coronary heart to simply be completed, I’d help him 100 p.c in that. He would not have to fret about my emotions in all that. I need what he needs.

“So I used to be mainly simply handing him permission to retire if that is the place his coronary heart was, and I used to be gonna help him in that. And he listened, and you would inform he actually took it to coronary heart and thought. And he stated, ‘Thanks, however I do not really feel completed. I am not completed.'”

Steelers’ quarterback choices if Ben Roethlisberger retires

As an example Roethlisberger does have a change of coronary heart and tells the Steelers he’s completed, or the Steelers determine they’re prepared to maneuver on. How would Pittsburgh fill the void?

Mason Rudolph is below contract for yet another 12 months, and he put collectively a pleasant efficiency within the common season finale (315 yards passing, two touchdowns, one interception towards the Browns). Nevertheless, Rudolph is best recognized for getting whacked within the head by Myles Garrett than the rest he has completed in 9 profession begins. Pittsburgh could not belief Rudolph because the man to succeed Roethlisberger and hold the Steelers contending within the close to future.

Pittsburgh may choose a quarterback with its first-round decide on the 2021 NFL Draft. Sporting Information’ Vinnie Iyer has the Steelers taking Florida’s Kyle Trask in his newest mock draft:

Trask was as much as the duty main a scorching Gators passing recreation confidently along with his arm, accuracy and athleticism, which obtained him into the first-round dialog. The Steelers could desire [North Dakota State’s Trey] Lance or [Alabama’s Mac] Jones and might go after both in a commerce up, however regardless they should think about using this decide to in some way change Ben Roethlisberger, retirement or not. Along with his raised effectivity and sensible use of various weapons, Trask can be an important match with their offensive teaching.

If the entrance workplace needs to handle different areas early within the draft, there are alternatives on the commerce and free company markets. Sam Darnold, Matthew Stafford or Carson Wentz could also be accessible if the Steelers are prepared to surrender the required belongings. They might additionally name free agent Dak Prescott simply to gauge his curiosity degree. (Clearly they must examine his medical data, and monetary limitations may make this a nonstarter.) 

The one factor we all know for sure: It will be a really offseason for Roethlisberger and the Steelers.