Roethlisberger plans to return in 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throws during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn’t quite ready to head off into retirement.

Roethlisberger announced on Twitter Friday that he’s told the Steelers he plans to be under center in 2017.

“Informed the team I am looking forward to my 14th season,” Roethlisberger posted. “Steeler Nation will get my absolute best.”

The two-time Super Bowl winner, who turned 35 last month, hinted after Pittsburgh’s loss to New England in the AFC championship game that he needed to take stock before committing to returning.

Though everyone from coach Mike Tomlin to general manager Kevin Colbert to team president Art Rooney II believed Roethlisberger would be back, Roethlisberger kept quiet publicly until Friday.

The front office hardly appeared panicked as Roethlisberger weighed his options. Pittsburgh re-signed backup Landry Jones and hosted Patrick Mahomes and Josh Dobbs in pre-draft visits, but otherwise assumed the franchise’s all-time leader in every major passing category would be return.

“As an organization, we have been hopeful that Ben would return this year,” Tomlin said on Friday in a release on the team’s website. “Ben and I have had many conversations, and I understood at this point in his career he is going to have to think about his long-term future. There is no question Ben wants to win championships for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we know he will do everything possible to lead our entire team to achieving that goal.”

Roethlisberger passed for 3,819 yards and 29 touchdowns for Pittsburgh as the Steelers went 11-5 and won the AFC North for the second time in three years.

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