The Steelers drafted Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round last Friday, but Ben Roethlisberger will still be around for several years if he has anything to say about it.
Roethlisberger, 36, doesn’t expect Rudolph to take over in a year or two but in possibly up to five.
“Well, that’s fine. He can do that,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette over Rudolph starting one day in Pittsburgh. “But I plan on playing for three to five more years, depending on how the line goes and staying healthy, if I can stay healthy.
“If he’s going to be their guy, that’s great, but in my perfect world it’s not going to be for a while.”
With the quarterback’s new claim that he wants to play up to five years, Roethlisberger would be playing until the age of 41. That’s the same age Tom Brady will be in the 2018 season.
Roethlisberger entertained the idea of retirement last summer. In July, he said he wasn’t willing to commit to playing past 2017.
Despite that, Roethlisberger told his teammates after the 2017 season that he planned on returning for at least three more years.
Rudolph joins an already crowded Steelers roster, considering Pittsburgh drafted quarterbacks Landry Jones in 2013 and Josh Dobbs in 2017. Both were taken in the fourth round.
While Roethlisberger might not be ready to give up his starting position yet, he does plan to help Rudolph out.
“You know he’s able to play. Anytime you get guys to come in, you can try to teach him a little bit, it’s a good thing,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help. I did that with Landry [Jones] and try to help [Josh] Dobbs as much as I can. Landry does a great job at that, he did it last year with Dobbs. It’s kind of the backup’s role.”