Ben Roethlisberger Retirement: Will Pittsburgh Steelers Superstar Return for the 2017-18 Season?

By Teddy Cecilio, Posted: 03/20/17 05:00AM EDT

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hinted that he will return for his 14th season as the team's starting playcaller. There were a lot of questions surrounding his future after getting eliminated last season.

"I'm leaning towards it," said Roethlisberger when asked by Observer-Reporter if he is going to play in 2017. With Roethlisberger's pronouncement, the Steelers front office can now heave a sigh of relief. They were caught off-guard when 35-year-old quarterback announced that he will use the offseason to evaluate and consider all options.

"I'm gonna take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options," Roethlisberger said in a radio interview in January. "At that point in my career and my age I feel like that's the prudent and smart thing to do every year."

Roethlisberger threw for 3,819 yards with 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games last season. He led the Steelers to an 11-5 record, best in the AFC North, but they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.

In his 13 years with the Steelers, Roethlisberger has tossed for 46,814 yards and 301 touchdowns with 160 interceptions for a passer rating of 64.1. He also ran for 1,205 yards and 16 touchdowns.

As insurance, the Steelers have signed backup Landry Jones to a two-year deal worth $4.4 million. According to reports, the contract has a guaranteed money of $600,000.

The Steelers took Jones in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Since then, he has worked as Roethlisberger's primary backup for the last two seasons, starting four games during that span.

"He has a very good understanding of our offense," head coach Mike Tomlin said. "He is a good communicator and has grown in a lot of ways in that area in the last several years."

Jones has made 16 total appearances for the Steelers, completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,071 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions. The Steelers went 2-2 with Jones as starter.

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