This season could be the last for Ben Roethlisberger, according to the man himself.
Roethlisberger, 35, told the Post-Gazette Friday that he is considering retiring after the 2017 season and that his wife, Ashley, would like to see him step away from the game.
The 14-year veteran will tie Terry Bradshaw as the longest tenured Steelers quarterback in franchise history this season.
Though he’s considered playing a lot longer in the past, Roethlisberger began openly mulling retirement two days after Pittsburgh’s season-ending loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, but ultimately decided to return for the 2017 campaign. In the interview, he cited age (he’s 35) and watching his kids grow up as factors.
“Just all those things combined — being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids. I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players’ brains who were studied had CTE. There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year.”
Roethlisberger led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories (XL, XLIII) and is a five-time Pro Bowler. He also tied Drew Brees with an NFL-best 4,952 yards in 2014.
Roethlisberger insisted that his status isn’t based on frustration with losing the AFC title game last June and that he’s in good shape entering the upcoming season. However, he said he will not commit to any plans beyond 2017.
“I feel if I commit to anything past right now, I’m cheating now. I’m looking forward to this season, and I’m going to give it everything I have and afterwards we’ll sit down and do some [thinking] again.”