Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger 'leaning toward' playing in 2017

The Steelers general manager said the organization can't get caught off guard when their franchise quarterback decides to hang his helmet.

Ben Roethlisbergermay have been bluffing about his retirement.

The Steelers' franchisequarterback initially wouldn't commit to returning for his 14th NFL season in 2017, but now appears to have had a change of heart.

"I’mleaning towards it,"Roethlisberger saidFriday when asked about playing, viathe Washington (Pa.)Observer-Reporter.

Although the Steelers' front office didn't necessarily believe him, Roethlisberger caused quite a stir when he revealed earlier this year he was mulling retirement.

"I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,"Roethlisberger said in January. "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."

Still, Steelers general managerKevin Colbert remained confident that Pittsburgh'strio of "Killer Bs" would stay intact for at least one more season. Now thatwide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell are locked up with new contracts, the team's priority will shift to under center. The Steelers have already securedLandry Jones after re-signing the backup to a two-year deal on March 9.

Roethlisberger, who turned 35 on March 2, has two years remaining on hisfive-year contract worth$99 million.

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