Steelers OTAs started today. QB Ben Roethlisberger would not speculate about retirement beyond saying he did not give owner Art Rooney more than a one-year commitment.
Roethlisberger is 35. Taking his career year-to-year makes perfect sense.
But what’s the motivation for Roethlisberger to keep playing (or not)?
Roethlisberger has done it all, won it all, and earned a mint. What’s it going to take for him to play beyond 2017? (Besides staying healthy, that is.)
Here’s what I think:
If the Steelers’ on-field decorum and locker room are a circus act like in 2016, 2017 will be Roethlisberger’s last year. Celebration flags, Facebook Live and having to worry about whose ego is bruised by not scoring a touchdown could chase Roethlisberger to retirement.
So if Antonio Brown, for example, knows where his bread is buttered and his stats are generated, he needs to grow up.
I doubt Roethlisberger wants to deal with superfluous aggravation beyond a certain point. That’s how I would feel if I were Roethlisberger.
UPDATE: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has relaxed rules penalizing celebration. As per a letter from Goodell to the players, they can do "snow angels," group demonstrations, use the ball as a prop, etc. But not anything vulgar, anything that shows up an opponent, or anything that delays the game.
Thank God the commissioner has seen fit to give artists like AB a canvas on which to express their creativity, and eliminate a small percentage of Roethlisberger's aggravation, too.
Did any NFL player ever actually celebrate by doing a snow angel?