He has not shied from the topic previously, but Ben Roethlisberger the All-pro quarterback from the Pittsburgh Steelers provided concrete reasons on Friday as to if his career with the Steelers will soon end.
During an interview with a newspaper in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger said he has started to think about his retirement, with his age, his wife, family and the report released earlier in the week about CTE found in the brains of former NFL players all playing a part.
In his interview, Big Ben said his wife was ready for the quarterback to give up football. Roethlisberger, who is 35, has not committed to playing longer than this season, which is similar to the comments he made following the loss by the Steelers to New England in January’s AFC Championship game.
Roethlisberger said he has been blessed to play the game for so long. This will be his 14th season with the Steelers but he said that he loves spending time with his children during the offseason and then he misses out on a great deal since football takes so much of his time between August and January.
The veteran signal caller said he felt very good mentally, but knows the study that was just published shows 90% of players’ brains that played in the NFL had signs of CTE and that scares him as well as his wife, who will be fine with him ending his career.
However, he said he still loves his teammates and coaches, and the game so it was the right thing for him to return and give it his all this season.
Roethlisberger has been to the Pro Bowl five times and has won two out of the three Super Bowls he led the Steelers to. Last season, Big Ben completed 64.4% of his passes over 14 games, with 3,819 yards passing, 29 touchdowns and 13 picks.
The 29 touchdown passes were the second highest total for his career. However, the signal caller has not started all 16 regular season games in any season since 2014 when he threw for 4,952 yards, a career high.
Roethlisberger said that if he committed to anything longer than the current upcoming season he would be cheating.
He is looking forward to the season and will give it his all, but afterwards will sit and down and do some hard thinking once again about his playing future.