Ben Roethlisberger wants to play another NFL season and said he is willing to do whatever it takes to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The veteran quarterback addressed the swirling speculation about his future with the only franchise he has ever known on Thursday, telling The Athletic that he has approached the Steelers about restructuring the final year of his contract.

"I want to do everything I can and made that very clear to them from the very beginning that it was my idea to basically help the team however I can this year," Roethlisberger said. 

Speaking to a group of reporters earlier, Steelers president Art Rooney II affirmed that Roethlisberger has informed the team of his desire to play an 18th NFL season but added that keeping the two-time Super Bowl champion on the roster would be unfeasible with the Steelers' current salary cap situation.

Roethlisberger has a $41.25million cap hit for 2021, the highest of any player, and next year's cap is expected to drastically decrease due to a loss in league revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I think we've been up front with Ben in letting him know that we couldn't have him back under the current contract. I think he understands we have some work to do there," said Rooney per ESPN.

"We'll have conversations internally, and we'll have more conversations with Ben, and we'll have to know what the cap number is to finalise some of those decisions."

Rooney would not say whether the Steelers would ask Roethlisberger to take a pay cut instead of restructuring his deal to spread the remaining $22.5m in guaranteed money across future seasons.  

He said: "I think that those are discussions we'll have with Ben and his representative. It takes two to figure that out, and whether we can agree with what he wants, we'll just have to see."

Rooney added the Steelers remain open to Roethlisberger, who turns 39 in March, returning next season despite his advanced age and decline in play during the second half of a 2020 campaign that ended with a disappointing home loss to the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card playoff round. 

"We owe it to him to have a conversation about how he wants to end his career, and we intend to that," he said.

Roethlisberger made a successful comeback from a career-threatening elbow injury that limited him to two games in 2019, though his effectiveness waned as last season wore on.

The six-time Pro Bowler threw for 22 touchdowns and only four interceptions while producing a 103.0 passer rating through the first nine games – all Pittsburgh wins. He was intercepted six times with an 83.2 rating over the next six as the Steelers went 3-3 and eventually dropped to the AFC's number three playoff seed.

Roethlisberger did set an NFL postseason record with 47 completions while throwing for 501 yards and four touchdowns in Pittsburgh's lone playoff game but was picked off four times as the Steelers were dealt a 48-37 loss to the Browns.

Despite the rough ending to 2020 for himself and his team, Roethlisberger expressed confidence that both remain capable of performing at a high level next season.

"I am pretty sure I want to go one more year," he said. "I think I can do it and give us a real chance at winning."

Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have led the tributes to Philip Rivers after the Indianapolis Colts quarterback announced his NFL retirement.

Rivers, 39, spent the first 16 years of his career with the Chargers, initially in San Diego and later in Los Angeles, before joining the Colts for the 2020 season.

He led the Colts back to the playoffs with an 11-5 record and the team narrowly lost to the Buffalo Bills in the Wildcard Round in what proved to be his final game.

Rivers finishes his 17-year career ranked fifth all-time for both passing yards (63,440) and touchdown passes (421).

While Manning and Roethlisberger – the two other prominent quarterbacks drafted in 2004 – won two Super Bowls apiece, Rivers never made it to the big game.

But they insist it does not detract from his magnificent accomplishments.

Former New York Giants QB Manning wrote on Twitter: "Congrats to Philip on an outstanding career. 

"It was fun to watch my fellow Qb from 2004 draft class compete these past 17 years. Enjoy the next phase."

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Roethlisberger, whose own future is uncertain, added: "Philip, what a career! 

"An amazing competitor, winner and family man. It has been fun to compete against you and watch you do your thing for so many years. 

"I know countless kids have been inspired by you and will benefit from your coaching and football knowledge in the future. God bless!"

Colts head coach Frank Reich had previously said he believed Rivers had more left in the tank.

"Philip is one of the fiercest competitors and most loyal teammates that our game has ever seen," he said after Rivers' announcement. 

"His unwavering conviction as a leader and elite intelligence contributed to his Hall of Fame football career. 

"Philip made our game better and the National Football League was fortunate to have him.

"I wish Philip, Tiffany and the entire Rivers family the best and thank them for their contributions to our organization and community. 

"I am anxious to see Philip trade his helmet for the headset and do what he's always done best – bring his passion to the game of football and make others better."

Two of Rivers' prominent former Chargers pass catchers, Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry, were also quick to send him their gratitude on social media.

Allen wrote: "Husband, Father, Friend, Role Model, Professional, Warrior, Leader!

"Glad that I was blessed to be apart of your career. Showed up everyday like it was your last and never took any moment for granted!"

While Henry added: "Congrats stud. Insane career. 

"Thankful for everything you have done for me in my career. You were a true inspiration. Enjoy retirement stud!"

Houston Texans icon JJ Watt called Rivers "one of the smartest I’ve ever played against and a hell of a competitor".

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, said Rivers' career was worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame, labelling him "an example to follow as a QB, a team leader, a Dad, and a man of faith".

The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced the departure of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner as part of a coaching restructure in the aftermath of their playoff exit. 

Pittsburgh started the regular season with 11 straight wins but laboured in the closing weeks, eventually finishing the regular season with a 12-4 record to top the AFC North. 

Their Super Bowl hopes were then ended early by the Cleveland Browns. Despite having home advantage, the Steelers were unable to recover from an appalling first quarter that saw them give up 28 points, eventually losing 48-37 to their divisional rivals. 

Head coach Mike Tomlin had promised to make changes when speaking to the media on Wednesday, leading to Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley all being told their contracts would not be renewed. 

"I want to thank all three of the coaches for their commitment and dedication to the Pittsburgh Steelers," Tomlin said in a statement.  

"They have all played integral roles in our success and I am appreciative of their efforts. Personally, Randy and I have been in Pittsburgh since I hired him in 2007, but our relationship began well before that.  

"He has been a friend of mine for years and wish his family nothing but the best, and I am eternally grateful for our relationship both on and off the field." 

Fichtner had previously served in roles coaching Pittsburgh's wide receivers and quarterbacks before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2018. 

Pittsburgh averaged 334.6 yards per game during the 2020 regular season, though their total of 1,351 rushing yards ranked their running game dead last in the NFL. 

The changes may not be restricted to just the coaching staff, either. The future of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger - who has a year remaining on his contract - remains unclear, though he hinted after the postseason defeat to the Browns that he would like to come back next season.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said it is "reasonable to assume there is a chance" that star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return in 2021 after the team's disappointing playoff exit.

Roethlisberger was not ready to discuss his future after the Steelers surprisingly lost to the Cleveland Browns in last week's NFL Wild Card clash.

The 38-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Pittsburgh, where he has become a franchise pillar and guided the Steelers to two Super Bowl triumphs.

But question marks emerged following the Browns defeat after Roethlisberger threw four interceptions – finishing 47-of-68 passing for 501 yards and four touchdowns.

Roethlisberger has one year remaining on his contract worth $41.2million and when asked about the six-time Pro Bowler, Tomlin told reporters on Wednesday: "I don't have a clear assessment of the overall impact of the cap ramifications, so I might not have a direct answer to your question.

"But I think it is reasonable to assume there is a chance that he will be back, certainly. The depths of the ramifications of the cap discussions, I am not privy to as I sit here right now."

Led by Roethlisberger, the Steelers opened the season 11-0 but he and Pittsburgh faded dramatically.

Roethlisberger finished his 17th season ranked third in completions (399), 16th in yards (3,803), tied for seventh in touchdowns (33) and tied for eighth for fewest interceptions (10).

"We haven't made any decisions about any of our personnel along those lines," said Tomlin. "All of those discussions are interrelated, and we are just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of what 2021 looks like in terms of the makeup of our team and the issues relative to it.

"In regard to Ben, I can't say enough about his performance this year. With the uncertainly coming off of injury, and particularly not having an opportunity to perform in preseason games and so forth, there really was a high level of concern about his health and his ability to perform. I can't say enough about his efforts. I can't say enough about the efforts of our medical staff and our rehabilitation staff that worked hand in hand with him to get him to that process and get him to stadiums this year.

"I was more than pleased with the performance of his health and his ability to stay up. In terms of the quality of his play and our play, we'll begin to assess that in the upcoming days, but in terms of him responding to the challenges that he specifically came into the season ready to face, spectacular."

Ben Roethlisberger was not ready to discuss his future after the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 48-37 to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round on Sunday.

The Steelers were the last team to be unbeaten in the regular season before finishing 12-4 but committed three turnovers in the first quarter at Heinz Field, Karl Joseph returning Maurkice Pouncey's fumble for a touchdown on the opening drive and Roethlisberger throwing two interceptions.

It was the first time Pittsburgh committed three turnovers in the first quarter under Roethlisberger across his 17 seasons with the team, with the Browns taking full advantage to surge into a 28-0 lead.

The 38-year-old finished the game 47-of-68 passing for 501 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions, but the damage had already been down.

Roethlisberger has one year remaining on his contract worth $41.2million and is yet to make a decision on whether he will return next season.

"It's going to start between me and God, a lot of praying. A lot of talking with my family, discussions, decisions," said Roethlisberger.

"I still have a year left on my contract. I hope the Steelers want me back, if that's the way we go. There will be a lot of discussions. But now is not the time for that.

"This loss is fresh. It's just sitting on our hearts and our minds right now. It will for a while."

On his performance, he added: "It wasn't good enough. When you lose a game like this, you can look back and evaluate all you want on the season, how you did during this game, that game, runs, stretches. I mean, at some point we'll look back on the whole thing.

"But when it doesn't end the way you want it to, you're always going to feel some kind of way, like you came up short or it's your fault."

The Steelers have not won a playoff game since 2016, with their past three appearances in the postseason ending in defeat. For the Browns, it was a first playoff victory since 1994.

Asked if he was accountable for Pittsburgh's recent failures, head coach Mike Tomlin replied: "It is what it is. Our record is our record. Our performances are our performances. Don't run away from that.

"We didn't perform well enough. Not coaching, not playing. You can chalk it up to the turnover game. But we weren't good enough in a lot of other areas, communication, in terms of detail. Just not a good night for us.

"In the single elimination tournaments, when you don't have a good night, you go home."

The Cleveland Browns claimed their first playoff win since 1994 with a 48-37 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

An incredible 28-point first quarter set up the Browns' victory at Heinz Field in their first playoff game since 2002.

Baker Mayfield completed 21 of 34 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns, while Kareem Hunt rushed for two TDs.

Meanwhile, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted four times, throwing four TDs after completing 47 of 68 for 501 yards. The 47 completions were the most in a game in NFL history.

It was a series of early errors that cost the Steelers, the third seeds giving up 28 points in the opening quarter of the Wild Card round.

A bad snap led to Karl Joseph's touchdown after just 14 seconds and the Browns – without Kevin Stefanski after the head coach tested positive for coronavirus amid an outbreak at the organisation – piled on the points to begin the contest.

Roethlisberger, making his 22nd postseason start to break a tie with John Elway for the fifth most all-time, was intercepted by MJ Stewart Jr. and the Browns capitalised immediately, Mayfield finding Jarvis Landry with a 40-yard TD pass.

Hunt would rush for two scores to finish the quarter, either side of another Roethlisberger interception, as the Browns opened up a 28-0 lead.

The Steelers reduced the deficit in the second quarter before Roethlisberger connected with Eric Ebron and JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third, closing the gap to 35-23.

But Mayfield and Nick Chubb connected for a 40-yard TD early in the fourth quarter, all but ending the contest despite the Steelers' late push.

Turning point – Browns gifted dream start

Cleveland could not have dreamt of a better start to their first playoff game since 2002.

A bad snap went over Roethlisberger's head just seconds into the game and the Browns capitalised through Joseph.

It set the scene for the Browns and the rattled Steelers conceded a defining 28 points in the opening quarter. It was the most scored by any team in the first quarter of a playoff game since the 1970 NFL merger, as per NFL Research.

Browns get rolling

The Browns' 48 points marked the second time in franchise history they have scored 40-plus points in an NFL playoff game, according to NFL Research.

Cleveland's offense was allowed to get rolling early and they made the most of it.

What's next?

The Browns face the difficult task of a trip to Arrowhead Stadium to face defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round on January 17.

Pittsburgh fell away after making an 11-0 start to the season and much of the talk about the Steelers is set to focus on the future of 38-year-old QB Roethlisberger.

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