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Mike Tomlin Reveals His "Assumption" With Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger throws the football for the Steelers.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 02: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 02, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Ben Roethlisberger has not officially announced his retirement from football, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are going into this offseason assuming he will.

During his press conference on Tuesday, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said the organization is proceeding with the assumption that Big Ben will hang up his cleats after 18 seasons.

The future Hall of Fame signal caller presumably ended his NFL career with a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday night's AFC wild card game.

Now that the Steelers are intending to move forward without Roethlisberger, the question becomes who replaces him. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins are the in-house candidates, but Pittsburgh will likely explore all options in the coming months.

Neither Rudolph nor Haskins appears to be a viable long-term NFL starter, so trading for an established veteran (Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr etc.) could be an enticing possibility for the Steelers to consider.

Pittsburgh could also look to draft its quarterback of the future in April, but the early indications are that the 2022 crop of quarterbacks is not as loaded as recent years.