Ben Roethlisberger Won’t Commit To Returning To Football In 2017

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Tom Brady wants to play until he’s 72. Ben Roethlisberger, at 34 years old, is being cryptic about returning to the NFL after 13 seasons as the Steelers franchise quarterback.

Big Ben appeared on “The Cook and Poni Show” on 93.7 The Fan and the five-time Pro Bowler didn’t seem too eager to avenge his AFC Championship loss.

“I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,” Ben told us. “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.”

When asked if he’s going to play next year, Ben simply said, “I’m going to take some time and evaluate with my family and just do a lot of praying about it and make sure it’s the right thing for me and my family.”

 

Ben is coming off a Pro-Bowl season where he racked up 29 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and threw for nearly 4,000 yards. Injuries could be a selling point for retirement, as Big Ben has suffered two knee injuries, a broken foot, a dislocated shoulder, an achilles tendon injury, and probably more concussions than have been reported in his decade+ long career. He recently said that he wants to walk away from his career rather than get carted off and said “head injuries are always a big thing” when considering his next steps.

When asked about Roethlisberger’s comments, Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin said:

“He said it. So you do take it seriously. I think that that’s a fair assessment in terms of where he is in his career. I’m not alarmed by it. I just think that that’s football.”

Big Ben could very well just be inflating the off-season drama, still a bit bitter that many of his teammates (and coaches) laid an egg in the AFC Championship game. I draw this conclusion based on Ben saying that  how much Roethlisberger would be leaving on the table if he decided to hang ’em up.

Roethlisberger is signed for three more years under an extension signed in 2015 that came with a $31 million signing bonus. Retiring could lead him to pay back some of that bonus while also foregoing $46 million in salary and bonus as well as escalators in the final two years that could lead to a higher payout. [via Pro Football Talk]

Enough pandering, Ben. The NFL needs you back. Zach Mettenberger isn’t going to cut it.

[h/t Pro Football Talk]