He has been the mainstay for the Steelers offense for 15 seasons, the guy who has made it tick and the glue who has held it all together.
And Ben Roethlisberger will continue that role for several more years as he just signed a three-year contract, keeping him in the black and gold through the 2021 season.
"I am pleased to announce Ben Roethlisberger has been signed to a new three-year contract," said Steelers President Art Rooney II. "Ben is one of the most productive quarterbacks in NFL history, and he continued to climb the lists among the all-time passing leaders in the League last season. But I know Ben's focus is on only one goal – to bring another Lombardi trophy back to Pittsburgh. We are excited to finalize this new contract that will keep him as a Steeler through the 2021 season."
Roethlisberger eclipsed the 5,000 yard passing mark for the first time in his career in 2018, completing 452 passes for 5,129 yards, which led the NFL, and 34 touchdowns. Roethlisberger became just one of seven quarterbacks to throw for 5,000 yards in a season. He also threw for 250 yards and a touchdown in 15 of the Steelers 16 games, and did it in each of the team's first 13 games, a franchise record for consecutive games with at least 250 passing yards and a touchdown pass.
"I am grateful to the Rooneys and the Steelers organization for continuing to believe in me," said Roethlisberger, who will be entering his 16th season in black and gold. "It has always been a goal to play my entire career in Pittsburgh. This is home for me and my family, and we love this city. I am as excited to be a Steeler in year 16 as I was when they drafted me. They will get my absolute best."
The contract will keep Roethlisberger in black and gold for 18 seasons, something that is uncommon in the NFL today.
"It's significant to have a player who plays that many years for one team," said Rooney. "Generally that doesn't happen all that often anymore. It does mean something to the team and I am glad to say I think it means something to the player in this case. I think Ben wants to retire a Steeler. I think he wants to make Pittsburgh his home. For a lot of reasons those things are significant."
Roethlisberger was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice in 2018, first winning the honor in a 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He completed 30 of 38 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns, with a quarterback rating of 120.7.
He repeated the honor in a 52-21 win over the Carolina Panthers when he was perfection. Roethlisberger completed 22 of 25 passes for 328 yards, with five touchdowns, no interceptions, and a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, before coming out early in the fourth quarter.
"Ben was just on the money," said James Conner. "He just put the ball where it needed to be. You can really trust him when you go out there and he can really dominate the game."
That was just what he did in one season. His career stats speak for themselves.
Roethlisberger, who was selected by the Steelers with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, holds the career regular-season Steelers records in just about every category, including passing yards where he has amassed 56,194 yards and passing touchdowns with 363. He also holds the records for passing touchdowns of at least 60 yards (21), passer rating (94.2), completions (4,616), pass attempts (7,168), completion percentage (64.4), yards per attempt (7.84), 300-yard passing games (61) and 3,000 yard passing seasons (13).
Take a look at some of the greatest photographs from the career of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
It doesn't stop there. He holds Steelers single-season records for passing yards (5,129), completions (452) and touchdown passes (34), all set in 2018. He also holds the record for passer rating (104.1 in 2007), completion percentage (68.0 in 2015), 300-yard games (9 in 2014) and games with a passer rating of 100.0 or more (10 in 2014).
Roethlisberger holds the Steelers single-game records for most passing yards (522, 10/26/14 vs. Indianapolis), completions (44, 12/10/17 vs. Baltimore), attempts (66, 12/10/17 vs. Baltimore), completion percentage (min. 20 attempts, 88.0, 11/8/18 vs. Carolina) and touchdown passes (6), done in back-to-back games in 2014 (10/26 vs. Indianapolis and 11/2 vs. Baltimore).
Roethlisberger ranks in the Top 10 in NFL history in passing yards (6th – 56,194), pass completions (7th – 4,616) and touchdown passes (7th – 363).
"The things he does, the way he operates, the way he throws the football," said Maurkice Pouncey. "You don't appreciate it enough when you are playing. When we are all said and done, and sitting at the house and all the younger guys are playing, we know we had the opportunity to play with one of the best ever."
The Steelers continue with Phase One of the voluntary offseason workouts at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to nine postseason berths, seven AFC North Championships and two Super Bowl victories, with three total Super Bowl appearances. He became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl when he led the team to victory in Super Bowl XL.
"You can't sum him up in one word or sentence," said David DeCastro. "It's those intangibles. He is the ultimate competitor. He wants to win, needs to win, and he proves it.
"You can't win in this league without a really good quarterback. It all goes through him. He is a special player. He does a lot of things you can't coach. He is one of the biggest competitors I have ever been around. He wants to win."
Take a look at photos of Ben Roethlisberger in each of his three Super Bowl appearances