Ben Roethlisberger in tears with expensive Steelers decision to come

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Is this how it ends for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers?

The Pittsburgh quarterback was in tears with longtime teammate Maurkice Pouncey at the end of the team’s 48-37 wild-card loss to the Browns on Sunday night. Roethlisberger and Pouncey remained on the bench for 10 minutes after the Steelers’ defeat, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“I love that guy (Pouncey),” Roethlisberger said. “He is one of the best competitors and teammates I’ve ever had. It’s been so much fun to share a football field with him. I hate that it ended the way it did. I just wanted to apologize to him that I wanted to win it for him.”

The attention now shifts to the 38-year-old’s NFL future after an up-and-down season.

“It’s going to start between me and God,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “Lot of praying. And a lot of talking with my family. I still have a year left on my contract. I hope the Steelers want me back if that’s the way we go.”

It is a costly decision. Roethlisberger is owed a $15 million roster bonus on March 19 and his cap hit for the season is $41.3 million. The Steelers started 11-0 this season but lost four of their final five games before Sunday night’s playoff flop.

Roethlisberger threw for 501 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions as the Steelers tried digging out of a 28-0 first-quarter deficit against the Browns.

“It’s totally possible,” veteran defensive end Cam Heyward said when asked if the Steelers could be totally different next season.

“I could be gone next year. I don’t know what to expect. We are in uncharted territory, to say the least. Changes have to be made.”

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