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Ben Roethlisberger “leaning towards” returning to the Steelers in 2017

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The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise QB sent the fan base into a tailspin with retirement talk at the end of the season, but at a recent event said he is “leaning towards” returning to the field in 2017.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As if there was any doubt Ben Roethlisberger would be playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, the franchise quarterback spoke at an event and answered the question on everyone’s mind.

Will he be under center for the black and gold next season?

“I’m leaning towards it,” Roethlisberger said at a Liberty University Ignite Men’s Impact event, per Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer-Reporter.

No, it wasn’t the blatant ‘YES’ everyone might have been hoping for, but most fans likely knew there was a strong chance Roethlisberger would be the quarterback of the team in 2017. However, despite the confidence everyone has in regards to his eventual return, fans couldn’t help but think about life without Roethlisberger.

Although the team did bring back Landry Jones with a new two-year contract, it should be fairly clear the organization doesn’t see him as the future quarterback, but rather a solid backup who can step in and win games, if necessary.

Roethlisberger could, and will likely, keep fans and media guessing about his eventual return, or retirement, but everything coming from Art Rooney II to Kevin Colbert says the organization doesn’t think there is a chance Roethlisberger will retire anytime soon. Nonetheless, Roethlisberger’s retirement talk might have helped the team accelerate their process in finding his replacement.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on this story, and all others surrounding the black and gold.