Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been, in my opinion, the greatest quarterback in the history of the Steelers organization. Roethlisberger is looked at as the toughest quarterback in football today and one of the very best this game has to offer. Not only that, he has helped define the greatest rivalry in football today along with guys like Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Joey Porter, Joe Flacco, James Harrison, and Terrell Suggs. Whether you hate him or respect him, you have to give credit to Roethlisberger, the guy is really good. That's why it's sad hearing Roethlisberger speak on 93.7 The Fan's "The Cook and Poni Show" and mentioning the possibility of retirement.
On the show, Roethlisberger said:
“I'm going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options. 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. I’m going to take some time and evaluate with my family and just do a lot of praying about it and make sure it's the right thing for me and my family."
While the cynics will look at this and say "Come on, it's just Ben being Ben and being a drama queen, he'll be back" you have to consider the fact that this guy has taken a beating over the course of his career in a hard nosed AFC North division. Recently, he suffered an ankle injury against the Miami Dolphins that caused him to leave the locker room post game in a walking boot. That was only a few weeks ago.
Let us also not forget the motorcycle accident that he had 11 years ago. The accident caused him to suffer fractures in his jaw and right sinus cavity, as well as a nine-inch laceration to the back of his head. Due to his facial injuries, eyewitnesses at the scene didn't even recognize him.
When you add in the fact that he turns 35 in March, you see why Big Ben is considering hanging up his cleats. Football is a brutal sport and it takes a massive toll on the body. Especially as age comes into play. In the Ravens organization, you just saw the result of this with the retirement of Zachary Orr and he was only 24.
I do believe that Ben will be back next season, but if he does decide to retire, he has had one heck of a career and is sure to await a call from Canton, Ohio. In the end, Ben Roethlisberger will make his decision that is best for him and his family where he has a wife and three kids. He'll do what he has to do.