Updated: Feb 2, 2021
(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Peter King had an interesting comment about Ben Roethlisberger in his weekly Football Morning in America column on Monday. King listed seven teams that could be possibilities for Matthew Stafford to land, as both the Lions and Stafford have reportedly agreed to mutually part ways. Of those seven teams, King had the Steelers listed as No. 6 due to the uncertainty of how much Ben Roethlisberger has left in his career.
Here's what King said about Roethlisberger and the possibility of the Steelers trading for Stafford: "Not Pittsburgh’s style to nudge Ben Roethlisberger into retirement, but did you see the Statuesque One in the last month of the season? Compensation: 24th overall pick in the draft."
King isn't far off in comparing Roethlisberger to being a statue in the final month of the season. Roethlisberger's mobility certainly deteriorated as the season went on and there were hardly any plays made outside of the pocket and on the run by him in 2020.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Roethlisberger suffered a hyperextended knee in Week 13 against the Washington Football Team. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports also mentioned that Roethlisberger was dealing with a knee injury. The first report of Roethlisberger dealing with knee problems was in Week 9 against the Cowboys when he sustained injuries to both knees.
"There’s serious concern in the Steelers organization about Roethlisberger’s knee,” La Canfora reported on Dec. 13. “It’s been bothering him for weeks and sources say it’s not getting any better, an issue in practices and in games.”
Roethlisberger refuted La Canfora's report three days later.
"Yeah, I mean, I’m 38 years old. I’ve played football for 17 years. I’ve had multiple surgeries. I saw that report," Roethlisberger said. "I don’t know where it came from. I think it was the one that said the Steelers were concerned. I would love to know who that was or who told him because the week before against Washington I was having issues with my knee, landed on it, had something going on, but other than just an old knee and arthritis, my knee actually feels really good this week, especially after playing on an artificial surface. Typically, that is another issue that makes it kind of ache.
"After last week, it feels pretty good. That report to me is just one of those phony kinds of things that people sometimes want to make up. I actually feel pretty good."
Regardless of whether Roethlisberger was dealing with a knee injury or not, it was more noticeable than ever in the 2020 season that he wasn't as mobile as he used to be.
As far as the Steelers trading their first-round pick for Stafford as King suggests, I see that being highly unlikely as they have to address offensive tackle or center early in the draft to revamp the offensive line, especially with Maurkice Pouncey expecting to retire this offseason.
On a side note, King mentioned the length of discussion for Alan Faneca and Bill Nunn by the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee in his column. The discussion for Faneca clocked in at (13:08) and the time for Nunn was (31:29).