Steelers Ben Roethlisberger should hope Tom Brady reconsiders retiring
By Shayne Kubas
Ben Roethlisberger has undoubtedly had a Hall of Fame career, but his chance to be a first-ballot selection could be in jeopardy. Here is why Ben and Steelers fans should hope Tom Brady reconsiders his decision to retire.
All good things must come to an end. It’s a fact of life, and for Steelers fans, that good thing has been the Ben Roethlisberger era. We all knew it was coming to an end, but Ben made it official as he announced his retirement via his Twitter on Jan. 27th.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, the conversation surrounding Ben has turned to his Hall of Fame resume. There is no doubt in the minds of most who witnessed his 18-year run as the Steelers QB that he is a HOF player, but what is more up for debate is how quickly he will be enshrined.
His career is full of both personal and team accomplishments: 6 pro-bowls, 2 Super Bowls, top 10 all-time in nearly every major passing category. Not to mention his placement on the all-time wins list (5th) and game-winning drives list (T-2nd). Despite his accolades, his chance of being a 1st ballot selection could take a major hit thanks to a long-time rival: Tom Brady.
Brady has played well past the age most quarterbacks hang it up for years now, and this season showed little reason to think he is done. Despite his Buccaneers losing to the Rams in a wild divisional round battle, there was no reason to believe that he would consider retirement. Then news broke from Adam Schefter on Jan. 29th that Brady would indeed be hanging up his cleats. This was followed by several denials by people close to Brady, causing many to wonder what exactly was true or not. Finally, after days of uncertainty, Brady finally announced his retirement via instagram.
Why does this matter to Ben Roethlisberger? It’s simple: Ben’s best shot of being a 1st-ballot HOF selection is being the best QB up for enshrinement. If he and Brady were to retire together, they would both be on the 2027 ballot. There is obviously no chance Brady isn’t immediately inducted, so it then comes down to whether the committee is ok with selecting two QBs from the same era. It has happened before several times, most recently in 2006 with Troy Aikman and Warren Moon.
The precedent is there, so it may not be a concern either way. My argument though is that the committee may treat Brady differently than other QBs in the past, given his overwhelming resume. There is no way to know for sure, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they gave him special treatment.
If it matters to Ben that he doesn’t have to wait any longer than the required five years to be enshrined, he should be rooting for Brady to change course and give it one more go. Maybe he isn’t worried about when he gets the nod, but Steelers fans surely want to see him make it as soon as possible. Maybe even if it means dealing with Brady just a bit longer.