After 13 years in the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn't sure if there will be a 14th season.
Following the Steelers' loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, Roethlisberger hinted he may consider retirement over the offseason.
"I'm gonna 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 gonna be a next season," Roethlisberger said during his weekly interview with 93.7 The Fan's Ron Cook and Andrew Fillipponi.
Roethlisberger added, "I think at [this] point in my career, at my age, that's the prudent and smart thing to do every year."
When asked directly if he would return for the 2017 season, Roethlisberger said, "Like I said, I'm gonna take some time to evaluate with my family and really do a lot of praying about it and make sure it's the right thing for me and my family."
In 2016, Roethlisberger threw for 3,819 yards, his fewest since 2012, while completing 64.4% of his passes, his lowest since 2013. However, his touchdowns increased while his interceptions decreased from 2015.
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Roethlisberger has struggled with injuries throughout his career and said he was "thankful" his offensive line kept him healthy through the season. He added head injuries are always a big factor when weighing his future.
According to Spotrac, Roethlisberger has $36 million remaining in base salary on his contract. He could also be obligated to returning $18 million from his signing bonus, meaning he could be walking away from $54 million.
Of course, it's early in the offseason and the Steelers just suffered a tough loss to the Patriots two days ago. With more time to rest and think things over, it's possible Roethlisberger will decide to return to the team. However, should he decide to hang up his cleats, the Steelers may find themselves scrambling for a replacement.