Clock ticking on Big Ben

End is nigh for Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh, but we already knew that

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Smell ya later, Ben.
Smell ya later, Ben.
Image: Getty Images

The news that Ben Roethlisberger “expects this to be his final season playing quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers,” as Adam Schefter reported, is some big-time “duh” stuff.

Roethlisberger is 39 years old, has been horrendous this year, wasn’t really such hot stuff last year even though the Black and Gold went 12-4, and he’s on a contract that is structured specifically for him to leave the Confluence after this season. It’s a five-year contract with the last four years set to automatically void, leaving some $10 million of dead cap for next year.

The Steelers have Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins as in-house quarterbacks who haven’t gotten much NFL action but have been in the league for a bit and could enter next year as a starter, but you have to think that whoever fills that role is just going to be a placeholder for the Steelers’ 2022 draft pick.

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Might that be Pitt’s own Kenny Pickett? It feels too good to be true, but because the Steelers are still running Roethlisberger out there every week, there’s a pretty good chance that their draft position will, uh, “improve” from its current slot at No. 16.

The other question is what the impending end of Roethlisberger’s time as Steelers quarterback means. Would he try to latch on with another team? Would he want to keep playing even if he wasn’t going to be a starter? Would he just want to head off into retirement? These are questions whose answers would be a lot more newsworthy than Roethlisberger privately acknowledging what everyone pretty well knew already.

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Easy, it’s breezy

The Buffalo News reports, “Tailgaters can expect winds of 55 mph for Bills vs. Patriots.”

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Never mind the conditions for the game, this tailgate weather report is important. If you’re jumping from some height, judging the wind is crucial to making sure that you go through that table, as desired, instead of landing hard on the ground, which… hurts more? Is it bad luck?

As for that game on Monday night, the Manningcast is back on ESPN2, including David Letterman this time, so maybe it’s worth just staying home and avoiding all that wind.

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Ichiro forever

Daisuke Matsuzaka had a retirement ceremony in Japan, and Ichiro showed up to give him flowers.

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Ichiro is 48 and looks like he could still go out there and hit .300 — actually, maybe he could?

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Forget this year’s Hall of Fame ballot and all the Bonds/Clemens stuff, the Schilling stuff, the A-Rod stuff. Waive the waiting period and put Ichiro in now.