Despite comments made by Ben Roethlisberger about potentially retiring this offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers fully expect him to play.

Team president Art Rooney II recently made his opinion known that Big Ben will return, and general manager Kevin Colbert said the same thing Thursday.

“General manager Kevin Colbert said he and the rest of the organization are planning on Roethlisberger returning next season, despite the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback saying he will take time to evaluate if he wants to keep playing,” wrote Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

There are plenty of reasons to believe Roethlisberger will come back. Perhaps chief among them is the simple fact that he’d owe $16.8 million if he did retire. If he returns, rather than owing money he’d be in line to earn $18.2 million.

Big Ben has endured some big hits over the years, and he always seems to be dealing with a lower-body injury. So it’s not surprising that he is mulling retirement (something Terry Bradshaw recently called a “pity move“), especially after getting trounced by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

But the simple truth of the matter is that Roethlisberger can still play at a very high level and would likely miss the game if he did call it quits. The Steelers would certainly miss him if he follows through with his threat, as they don’t have a line of succession to properly replace him at this time.

This is something Colbert also addressed, saying “You should have a successful quarterback plan in place,” while noting Landry Jones will still likely be in place and that the Steelers will look to add a guy as well, “sooner rather than later.”