Steelers HC Mike Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday (per Ed Bouchette) that Ben Roethlisberger previously mentioned that he might not return for following season, so this is not the first time retirement has come up from him.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger implied that he plans to contemplate retirement this offseason during an appearance on the “The Cook and Poni Show.”
“I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,” Roethlisberger said, via CBS Pittsburgh. “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.”
Roethlisberger was asked if he’s going to play next year to which he replied: “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.”
The Steelers are coming off of a tough loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game and he’s dealt with a number of injuries the past few years, so you can’t blame him for wanting to take some time this offseason to mull over his situation.
Even so, it would be really surprising to see Roethlisberger walk away from the NFL. However, it sounds like he’s getting to the point where this is could be a serious consideration for him moving forward.
Jason Fitzgerald points out that unless there is language to prevent forfeiture in his contract, Roethlisberger would owe the Steelers $18.6 million if he walked away,
Roethlisberger, 34, 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.