The Steelers' 2017 season is officially underway, and Ben Roethlisberger reiterated on the second day of training camp what became one of the biggest storylines this spring: that the franchise quarterback is seriously considering retirement after the season, and that his wife supports the decision.
The one-word reason?
"Age," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette on Friday, adding, "It's just, it's 14 years; that's a long time. I think the average life expectancy in the NFL is three 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."
The story went on to sum things up nicely why it may not make sense for Big Ben to hang it up so soon: Roethlisberger, whose current contract runs through 2019, continues to play at a high level, and this Steelers offense could be the best of his career, one that includes three Super Bowl appearances and two Lombardi Trophies. Everyone one knows about Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant, but there's also the offensive line, perhaps one of the league's most underrated units.