Ben Roethlisberger: Andrew Luck’s decision to retire ‘brave, honorable’
The NFL world was left stunned a few weeks ago when Andrew Luck abruptly announced his retirement at the age of 29. Ben Roethlisberger, who was said to have contemplated retirement during a few recent offseasons, praised his fellow superstar quarterback for making such a tough decision.
Roethlisberger recently sat down for an in-depth interview with NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer to discuss all-things Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of the team’s Week 1 showdown with the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
Among the topics discussed were Roethisliberger’s own personal deliberations about retirement and how those experiences impacted his view on Luck’s sudden retirement.
I sat down with @steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to talk about changes in the locker room, younger guys stepping up & Andrew Luck’s retirement. Check it out on @nflnetwork tonight at approx. 9:40pm ET #NFL100 pic.twitter.com/v9YVi909lE— Andrea Kremer (@Andrea_Kremer) September 3, 2019
“I thought it was incredibly brave and honorable to walk away from a game he obviously loves very much,” Roethlisberger told Kremer, as transcribed by Steelers Depot. “I know Andrew a little bit. He’s a great quarterback, but an awesome person. And so for him to do this at this point in his career, I tip my cap to him.”
As noted, Roethlisberger contemplated retiring during a few recent offseasons, most notably following the 2016 season. He has been all-in for 2019, however, despite a tumultuous 2018 season that preceded the departures of offensive standouts Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
The Steelers rewarded Roethlisberger with a two-year, $68 million contract extension that included a $37.5 million signing bonus. The deal will keep the 37-year-old signal-caller under contract through the 2021 season. The veteran quarterback intends to stick around for at least that long.
“I’m gonna honor my contract like I always have,” Roethlisbeger told Kremer. “So that’s what I’m focused on right now.”
How the Steelers will be able to succeed without Brown and Bell remains to be seen, but JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner are capable replacements. It also helps that the seemingly ageless Big Ben remains under center, and plans on doing the same for at least a few more seasons.