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Ben Roethlisberger Says Retirement Still A Possibility Next Year

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger tells Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that retirement remains a serious option for him after the 2017 season.

“Age,” Roethlisberger said when asked what’s changed his thinking about his long-term future in the NFL. “It’s just, it’s 14 years; that’s a long time. I think the average life expectancy in the NFL is 3 years, maybe 3½ now.

“I’ve been blessed to do this a long time. I think it’s just seeing my kids growing up, and in the offseason I love getting to spend time with them, and then I come here and football season just has to take up so much of your time. Even when you get home, I try my best to turn it off when I walk in the front door. I think I do a pretty good job of that, but it still consumes you in a way.

“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 explained that committing to anything beyond this season would be “cheating.”

“I feel if I commit to anything past right now, I’m cheating now,” Roethlisberger said. “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.”

During the offseason, Roethlisberger took some time to mull over his future before informing the team that he was returning in April.

Roethlisberger, 35, is in the second year of his five-year, $99 million contract that includes $64 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $17.75 million for the 2016 season.

In 2016, Roethlisberger had completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3819 yards to go along with 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 13 quarterback out of 34 qualifying players.

We’ll have more regarding Roethlisberger’s future as the news is available.