Just days after the Pittsburgh Steelers were knocked out of the 2017 NFL playoffs, fans were served a plate of surprise.
Star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still an elite quarterback — there’s no doubt about it. With that said, he dropped some very interesting news on Pittsburgh and NFL fans alike.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 24, 2017
Not ready to commit to another year of football? That has “shocking” written all over it. After all, Big Ben is only 34-years-old. Plus, and once again, he is still considered to be an elite quarterback by many.
“I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,” Ben said, according to 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.”
Before Steelers fans push the panic button, they need to take what Roethlisberger said with a large grain of salt. No, he did not say he was retiring. He simply said he was going to evaluate his situation and consider his options.
“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.”
If head coach Mike Tomlin is not worried, then Steelers fans shouldn’t be either.
Mike Tomlin 'not alarmed by' Ben Roethlisberger's comments regarding a possible retirement https://t.co/RM4XGFLqvV
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 24, 2017
Roethlisberger’s latest comments aside, Pittsburgh is coming off of a great season. Look no further than a spot in the AFC Championship game to figure that one out. The team finished with an 11-5 record during the regular season, a regular season that can be described as up and down. After all, Pittsburgh lost four games in a row at one point; however, the Steelers also won their last seven contests of the regular season.
While a beating by the New England Patriots likely leaves a disgusting taste in Roethlisberger’s mouth, along with fellow teammates, coaches, and fans, people cannot forget that Pittsburgh took down two teams just to make it to the AFC title game. Those teams were the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, most people will probably only remember the 36-17 loss against Tom Brady & Co.
Nonetheless, there is a lot to be excited about in Pittsburgh, and there is certainly plenty of reasons why Roethlisberger would want to come back. For example, the Steelers have arguably the best wide receiver and running back in the league. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are easily two of the best players in football right now. The best part? Brown is 28-years-old while Bell is only 24-years-old.
Now, Big Ben has been in the league for quite some time, and he has dealt with a decent amount of injuries, so it is only natural that he would be looking at all of his options right now. The loss to the Pats is probably a little discouraging as well, as are all losses at this level.
When a quarterback who can still rip defenses to shreds is thinking about not coming back in the upcoming season, fans tend to panic. However, a lot has to — and will — happen now until the 2017 NFL season actually starts. While Big Ben might not seem like a human on the field at times — because he is too busy scoring touchdowns and racking up the yards — he is, in fact, human. It would be crazy if he didn’t consider all of his options at this point in his career.
Pittsburgh fans might not have too much to cheer about at the present moment, but Roethlisberger has not said he is leaning toward retirement or anything like that. He is just being honest by saying he is considering his options.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]