Ryan Clark remains good friends with several Steelers off the field, but he’s brutally honest as well.
The ESPN NFL analyst didn’t hold back when asked about his former Steelers teammate, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Clark played with Roethlisberger for eight seasons — 2005 until 2013 — before heading to Washington for one final campaign in 2014. Unlike Big Ben, Clark knew the right time to hang up his cleats, while it appears Roethlisberger is struggling to come to that same conclusion due to his contract status.
Now, to be fair, Roethlisberger has earned that right. He holds nearly every team passing record, so asking Kevin Colbert for one last run isn’t some ludicrous request. His $40 million cap hit makes building a team around him all the more difficult, though, which is why Roethlisberger must restructure his contract to make a retirement on his terms a reality.
Kevin Colbert isn’t about to budge on his request of Ben Roethlisberger
Clark would rather Roethlisberger just retire altogether, however.
“Man, Ben, please just retire. Don’t make me do this,” Clark said. “It’s time to move on. It’s time to start over. I don’t believe they win a Super Bowl with him at quarterback. And when you’ve got six rings, and your whole city, and your whole organization, is about winning championships, if you have a quarterback that can’t take you there, it’s time to move on and start trying to find a way to get there, and I think it’s that time for the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Roethlisberger was off to a tremendous start in 2020, as the Steelers went 11-0. But their 1-5 finish to the season has fans and pundits questioning just how much he has left to give. His arm strength is questionable at best post-elbow surgery, and his mobility is virtually nonexistent, making many wonder just how well he’ll fit into new offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system.
The Steelers are preparing for a life post-Ben. The question remains, though, whether he’s ready for that amicable split.