Big Ben will be back.
League sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the 38-year-old quarterback plans to return for at lest one more season.
“Ben Roethlisberger wants to continue playing next season and, barring a change of heart, intends to fulfill the terms of a contract that has one season remaining on it after this one,” Schefter wrote on Monday.
This news comes as the Steelers are in the midst of a three-game losing streak after starting the season 11-0. Since then, they have recorded consecutive losses to the Washington Football Team (5-7), the Bills (10-3) and most recently, the Bengals (3-10-1) on Monday night.
Roethlisberger is under contract through 2021, which would be his 18th NFL season. He is set to earn a base salary of $4 million with a $12.5 million signing bonus, $15 million roster bonus, and carries a $41.25 million cap hit ($22.25 million dead cap), per Spotrac. The Ohio native has been with the Steelers for all 17 seasons after he was selected No. 11 overall in the 2004 NFL Draft from Miami (OH). He is a two-time Super Bowl champion, six-time Pro Bowler, and has passed for 60,007 career regular season yards for 393 touchdowns and 201 interceptions through 230 starts.
After missing all but two games in 2019 due to an elbow injury, Roethlisberger has a 65.3 completion percentage this season and has passed for 3,462 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has looked shaky over the last three games, however, sparking questions about his health and longevity as he nears 40.
“After this season, which has taken a physical toll on him, sources around Roethlisberger believe the two-time Super Bowl champion is having too much fun and likes his team too much to walk away from it after the 2020 season,” Schefter added.
At 11-3, the Steelers are currently tied with the Bills for the No. 2 seed in the AFC behind the Chiefs (13-1). The Browns and Ravens are close behind them in the AFC North at 10-4 and 9-5, respectively.
Roethlisberger and the Steelers have a tough two-game stretch to finish out the year. They will take on the Colts (10-4) at home on Sunday, and the Browns on the road in Week 17.