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Ben Roethlisberger says he is considering retirement even though everyone knows he’ll be back

Mike Tomlin said this isn’t the first time Roethlisberger has pondered retirement.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On his weekly radio spot on Pittburgh’s 93.7 The Fan, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he is considering retirement.

“I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,” Roethlisberger 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.”

The Steelers are coming off of a heartbreaking 36-17 AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots. Roethlisberger, 34, finished the season with 3,819 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said he’d like for Roethlisberger to play next season.

Getting to the conference championship but missing out on the Super Bowl is a tough pill to swallow. It’s been a long season and Roethlisberger spent one week on the sideline with a torn meniscus that required surgical repair, and suffered a late-game ankle injury in Wild Card play against the Dolphins. Retirement may seem like an appealing option.

Tomlin said he had not yet had an opportunity to speak with Roethlisberger about his comments, according to Ed Boucette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Tomlin also may not be surprised by Roethlisberger’s thought process.

Until Tomlin has an opportunity to speak to Roethlisberger, he said “it’s just speculation, and I choose not to.”

Tomlin did say, however, that they may have to begin to think about Roethlisberger’s successor. Considering Roethlisberger’s age, this is a practical decision.

Much like Terrell Suggs expected Roethlisberger’s “big ass” to be back for the Steelers’ Week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, it’s reasonable to expect that he’ll be back behind center for the Steelers next season.