Sep. 26, 2016
Who will play longer: Brady or Roethlisberger?
New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, has been one of the most successful quarterback in NFL history. He has the fourth most passing yards all-time, fourth most passing touchdowns, and third best career passer rating. Brady is also 39-years-old, has been quoted saying that he wants to play until the 2025 season. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, 34 years old, was noncommittal about returning for the 2017 season. He has also had a storied career, he has the 9th all-time best passer rating, ninth most passing touchdowns, and tenth most passing yards.
Even though Brady was drafted five years before Roethlisberger and is five years older than him, Brady is set to up to play much longer than Roethlisberger. Even though Brady wants to play until 2025, it is more realistic he plays until the 2021 season (five more years) where Roethlisberger can realistically play until the 2019 season (three more years.)
For Roethlisberger, who just finished his 13th NFL season, had an up and down year. At home Roethlisberger had a 116.7 passer rating, but on the road he had a 78.4 passer rating. This could be the sign that his play is starting to decline.
Early on in Roethlisberger’s career, because of PIttsburgh’s subpar offensive line and his playing style, he took a lot of hits. In 2009 he had a career worst 50 sacks against. That does not count all of the quarterback hits that he took. All of the hits are starting to catch up to Roethlisberger. In the last two seasons, he has missed five games due to injury even though he has only been sacked 37 times over the two seasons.
Unlike Roethlisberger, Brady has not had to worry about getting hit as much. In 15 seasons where he started the majority of the Patriots games, he averaged 27.8 sacks per season. He has also only missed time once because of injury; 2008 when he tore his ACL in the first game of the season.
Brady is one of the best quarterbacks at getting the ball out of his hands. In 2016, 219 of his 432 passing attempts left his hand in two seconds or less, which is one of the best marks in the league. Even though Brady turns 40 in less than a year, he has a passer rating over 100 the past two seasons.
Even though Brady has played in 52 more regular season games than Roethlisberger, he is still playing at a higher level than Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger still had a good 2016, 95..4 overall passer rating, but it is clear through watching him on Sunday and from recent injuries that his body is starting to break down. If in 2017, Roethlisberger looks like his old self, then he may last a little bit longer than expected.
Both quarterbacks are under contract until the 2019 season, and they should both be able to play out their deals. With the length of the contracts, it is unlikely that Roethlisberger will play out another contract. However, it is very possible Brady can play though another contract especially if he plays until 2025.
After Roethlisberger was noncommittal in coming back for the 2017 season, the Steelers need to look to the draft for a quarterback to take his place. They do not necessarily need to spend a first round draft pick on a quarterback, but look for them to draft a quarterback in the second or third round.
Right now it seems like Roethlisberger is likely to retire before Brady does. Both quarterback are certainly Hall of Famers, with Roethlisberger winning two Super Bowls and Brady going for his fifth Super Bowl victory. No other quarterback has won five Super Bowls, so Brady is going where no quarterback has gone before. The NFL should cherish the next couple of years before both great quarterbacks retire.