Steelers GM weighs in on how many prime years Big Ben has left

Ben Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing yards in 2014.

Jack Dempsey/AP

Ben Roethlisberger turned 34 earlier this month, having already played 12 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But despite the years and injuries piling up, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert doesn’t believe Big Ben is past his prime.

"Ben’s a franchise quarterback," Colbert told ESPN. "There are a few that have two [or more Super Bowls since 2004], but he’s one of those few. We’re very fortunate. We still have, you know, we think three to four more good years in his prime. We’re excited to see what he can do in that time period and what we can do to help him be successful."

Roethlisberger’s never-say-die attitude has earned respect from his teammates and opponents, but has also led to some injuries of late. Big Ben dealt with knee, foot and shoulder issues in 2015 to go along with a concussion.

But despite missing four games, Roethlisberger still put up nearly 4,000 yards passing to go along with 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. But those numbers paled in comparison to his 2014 totals, leading the NFL with 4,952 yards with 32 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

Judging by some of Big Ben’s quarterback contemporaries, Colbert’s prediction isn’t all that far-fetched. Drew Brees, 37, and Tom Brady, 38, are still two of the best quarterbacks in the game. There’s no reason to believe Roethlisberger won’t follow suit, unless the injuries catch up to him.