Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday he could not yet commit to returning to play another NFL season.
“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 radio show with 93.7 The Fan’s Ron Cook and Andrew Fillipponi.
Earlier in the interview, Roethlisberger said he knew about Le’Veon Bell’s groin injury ahead of the AFC championship and that he couldn’t remember whether he had to have a conversation with a sulking Antonio Brown after DeAngelo Williams’ touchdown. NFL Network’s Aditi Khinkabwala reported that on Monday.
Roethlisberger turns 35 in March and is coming off a season where he completed 64.4 percent of his passes with 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
“I think at (this) point in my career, at my age, that’s the prudent and smart thing to do every year,” Roethlisberger said.
He was then asked directly if he’d return.
“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.”
He said he does not have any injury that would require offseason surgery, but he said injuries are always a concern.
“Injuries are always a key,” he said. “Head injuries are always a big thing. I feel very blessed and thankful that my line was as good as they were this year.”
Roethlisberger is under contract through 2020.
Coach Mike Tomlin says Roethlisberger has mentioned possible retirement to the coaching staff at various points. Longtime Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller, a good friend of Roethlisberger’s, retired last February at age 33.
Tomlin says he’s not alarmed by Roethlisberger questioning his future, adding Roethlisberger is “the most significant component of what we do.”