What does Ben Roethlisberger's return mean for Steelers?

Pittsburgh Steelers franchise quarterback Ben Roehtlisberger informed the team Friday that he will be returning for a 14th season, and that he looks forward to giving Steeler Nation his "absolute best" in 2017.

For the 14th straight season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not in the market for a new starting quarterback. However, his announcement on Twitter came with what was, for some, an unexpected surprise.

If the sun is setting on Big Ben's career, which boasts two Super Bowls, Steelers fans should enjoy the final curtain call.

It turns out that, for reasons that remain mysterious, Roethlisberger, or at least the social-media team running his Twitter account, has blocked an terrible lot of sports journalists. As of Friday, Roethlisberger's retirement is no longer on the table.

Roethlisberger was the first-round pick of the Steelers in 2004.

The Steelers quarterback said after January's AFC Championship game defeat he would take a few weeks to consider retirement.

"As an organisation, we have been hopeful that Ben would return this year", coach Mike Tomlin told 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".

Although he recently turned 35 years old and has a lengthy history of playing through pain, Roethlisberger remains one the league's very best quarterbacks, evidenced by his 3,819 passing yards and 29 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions last season.

The Steelers were confident of this outcome, but Roethlisberger's public commitment solidifies the offense for 2017.

  • Carolyn Briggs