Ben Roethlisberger Says Retirement Still an Option After Coming Season

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during NFL football minicamp, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

While Ben Roethlisberger will be the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting quarterback in 2017, he isn't ruling out retirement following the season.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Big Ben said he isn't making plans beyond 2017 and that retirement remains an option due to his age.

Shortly after losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that he was considering retirement (h/t CBS Pittsburgh): "I'm going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options. To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there's going to be a next season."

While Roethlisberger decided to return, the 35-year-old veteran is likely nearing the twilight of his career.

He remains highly productive, though, as he has been named to the Pro Bowl in three straight seasons.

The biggest issue for Roethlisberger has been remaining healthy. He missed two games last season after sitting out four games during the 2015 campaign.

Even so, Big Ben finished 2016 with 3,819 yards, 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while also bringing Pittsburgh within one game of the Super Bowl.

Regardless of how much longer Roethlisberger plays, he has the makings of a first-ballot Hall of Famer with two Super Bowl rings to his credit.

Although the Pats are still the team to beat in the AFC, Roethlisberger and the Steelers have a chance for another huge year in 2017, especially with wide receiver Martavis Bryant returning from suspension to join elite-level weapons in wideout Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell.