Nike NFL Ben Roethlisberger Black Team Color Men’s Game Jersey

There is no guarantee Ben Roethlisberger plays beyond 2017.

The five-time Pro Bowler’s reasons are wide ranging. From a desire to spend more time with his family to the hope that he’ll avoid serious long-term injuries, he laid out a compelling case during an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday while echoing some of the same end-of-the-road sentiments he expressed at the end of the 2016 season — a time he also flirted with retirement.

From the paper:

“Age,” Roethlisberger said, then laughed. “It’s just, it’s 14 years; that’s a long time. I think the average life expectancy in the NFL is 3 years, maybe 3.5 now.

“I’ve been blessed to do this a long time. I think it’s just seeing my kids growing up, and in the offseason I love getting to spend time with them, and then I come here and football season just has to take up so much of your time. Even when you get home, I try my best to turn it off when I walk in the front door. I think I do a pretty good job of that, but it still consumes you in a way.

“Just all those things combined — being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids. I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players’ brains who were studied had CTE.

“There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year.”
Roethlisberger, 35, went on to say his current disposition wasn’t the result of lingering wounds from the 2016 season, even though, as NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala noted at the time, the quarterback was unhappy with some of his teammates.

As Kinkhabwala mentioned on Inside Training Camp Live on Friday, this is Roethlisberger being honest, though it is a version of the same tactics he’s employed in the past. On top of being how he feels, Roethlisberger knows the end of his career could provide a sense of urgency for the players around him. The Steelers would be nowhere near Super Bowl contention without Roethlisberger. Five years from age 40, the QB eliminating any complacency is a worthwhile endeavor to start the season.cheap jerseys website

It feels like a dance we’re destined to do with Roethlisberger for a little while, though the Steelers cannot say he didn’t give them warning. With rookie Joshua Dobbs and 2013 fourth-round pick Landry Jones on the roster, are they prepared for life without Big Ben?

Ben Roethlisberger will tie Terry Bradshaw for the longest tenure as a Steelers quarterback when he embarks on his 14th season.

The question now becomes, will it be his last?

Roethlisberger, 35, told the Post-Gazette Friday that retirement remains an option for him after this season and that his wife would like to see him give up football.

In past years, he’s talked about playing a lot longer, but he mentioned the possibility of retiring two days after the Steelers season ended with their loss to New England in the AFC championship. He ultimately decided to come back this year but will not commit beyond it.

Antonio Brown tries to run past cornerback Artie Burns during the first day of training camp Friday at Latrobe High School.

Why the change of heart from the past?

“Age,” Roethlisberger said, then laughed. “It’s just, it’s 14 years; that’s a long time. I think the average life expectancy in the NFL is 3 years, maybe 3½ now.

“I’ve been blessed to do this a long time. I think it’s just seeing my kids growing up, and in the offseason I love getting to spend time with them, and then I come here and football season just has to take up so much of your time. Even when you get home, I try my best to turn it off when I walk in the front door. I think I do a pretty good job of that but it still consumes you in a way.

“Just all those things combined — being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids. I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players’ brains who were studied had CTE.

“There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year.”

Roethlisberger insists it was not out of frustration with losing the AFC title game that prompted him to mention a possible retirement two days later in an interview with 93.7 The Fan.

“It had nothing to do with frustration, me saying it. It had to do with other factors in life. I think people assume it was the frustration but honestly it had nothing to do with that, it was more about other things.”

James Conner speaks to the media before the first day of training camp on Friday, July 28, 2017 at Saint Vincent College. (Steph Chambers/Post-Gazette)

He says he’s in good shape, his arm is fine, but that he will not commit to playing longer than 2017.

“I feel if I commit to anything past right now, I’m cheating now. I’m looking forward to this season, and I’m going to give it everything I have and afterwards we’ll sit down and do some [thinking] again.”

He knows that 40-year-old Tom Brady has said he wants to play until he’s 50, and Drew Brees has expressed similar sentiments.

“To each his own and good for him. He’s doing it at a very high level obviously and I know Drew Brees talked about doing it. Each person has priorities in different areas. Like I said, a big one for me is my family and my kids.”

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