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Willie Colon says Ben Roethlisberger seriously considered retiring

The Steelers fell to the Patriots in the AFC title game, but they still have an incredibly dangerous offense. Mike Florio and Willie Colon breakdown their offseason and look ahead to 2017.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger publicly mused about retiring this offseason, and it wasn’t just talk.

Former Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon, a teammate of Roethlisberger’s for seven seasons, said this morning on PFT Live that Roethlisberger was seriously considering retiring before ultimately deciding to play the 2017 season.

“I got to sit down and talk to him and one thing he told me is he did take it seriously,” Colon said. “He’s dealt with a lot of injuries.”

So will the 35-year-old Roethlisberger consider it again in 2018, and maybe even walk away? Colon said he believes the Steelers’ offensive line will have a lot to do with that decision.

“He’s passionate about playing, but one thing that keeps his fire going is that offensive line,” Colon said. “You have to worry about the health of Ben Roethlisberger. Can you keep him upright, can he stay healthy for the duration? They have the offensive line, they have the pieces around him to make it work.”

The Steelers signed backup quarterback Landry Jones to a two-year, $4.4 million contract this offseason, and they took quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Those moves may suggest that the Steelers are also taking seriously the possibility that Roethlisberger’s retirement could come sooner than most people expect.