Steelers GM: Roethlisberger has no 'expiration date'

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The Pittsburgh Steelers inked Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract that takes him through the 2021 season and up to his 40th birthday. That doesn't mean it will be over when the contract ends.

After Big Ben's previous dalliance with retirement, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert now believes the QB could keep heaving passes well beyond 2021.

"I know he doesn't have an expiration date," Colbert recently told Pro Football Talk. "We just felt that that was a foreseeable future that we were able to do, and he was agreeable to. But I'm sure that he doesn't have an expiration date. I know that he's still very competitive. He still wants to do this at a high level. . .He doesn't need money, he doesn't need Hall of Fame credentials in my opinion. He's already achieved both of those. What he wants is more Super Bowls. And he wants to continue to try to win, and we're gonna support that. And that was a big part of why we were willing to do what we did, and now it's our job to help him help us get there."

With Tom Brady and Drew Brees playing at Pro Bowl levels into their 40s, perhaps Big Ben will seek to do the same. Throughout history, quarterback declines have generally been swift and stinging. Modern technology and training have stemmed some of that deterioration, but no man stiff-arms Father Time forever.

Given Colbert's comments about Roethlisberger not needing money or HOF stat compiling, perhaps the only way Big Ben will leave is after hoisting another Lombardi Trophy. After swinging and missing on that goal the past 10 seasons, getting back to the Super Bowl at any point during his new three-year contract could be the cherry on top of a legendary career. If the Steelers keep missing, would Roethlisberger continue playing until they finally hit?

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