Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he’s evaluating his options as far as playing football next season.
In a radio interview with 93.7 The Fan, the longtime Pittsburgh star said he’s unsure about his future and will take time to think it through.
“I’m going to take this off-season to evaluate, to consider all options,” he said. “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.”
He was asked explicitly if he would play next season, responding: “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.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he had yet to meet with Roethlisberger. "He said it. So you do take it seriously. I think that that's a fair assessment in terms of where he is in his career. I'm not alarmed by it. I just think that that's football,” Tomlin said, according to NFL.com.
“Obviously, I'm hopeful that he returns. His return obviously and the potential for his return or not returning will weigh heavily in our planning. But I'm not alarmed or surprised by that thought process. That's life. He's a significant component, the most significant component of what it is that we do and we'll plan and react accordingly.”
The Steelers would be in a tough spot with Roethlisberger gone, with Landry Jones and Zach Mettenberger last year’s backup quarterbacks.
Pittsburgh’s season ended with a 36–17 loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game. Roethlisberger, 34, just finished his 13th pro season, all with the Steelers. He led the team to Super Bowl wins in the 2005 and 2008 seasons and has been one of the NFL’s more consistent passers in that time.