Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert knows the clock is ticking with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger openly talking about retirement.
Roethlisberger, who is a five-time Pro Bowl selection, admitted during an interview in July that retirement at the end of the 2017 season is a serious consideration.
"I hope he stays here more than one year, but we have to be prepared," Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "... Will I see more games, maybe, more quarterbacks? Maybe. Not because of what he said, but where he is. At 35, you may put a replacement in place sooner than later, and we did that, again adding a young player like a Josh Dobbs into the mix at this point. All of a sudden Landry (Jones is) a free agent last year and that kind of snuck up on us as well, so you want to put another young quarterback in the mix. Fortunately we signed Landry, and we have him for a longer period than we did at this point last year."
Roethlisberger will tie Terry Bradshaw for the longest tenure as a Steelers quarterback as he heads into his 14th NFL season.
Days after Pittsburgh lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in January, Roethlisberger hinted he might have played his last game.
Roethlisberger, as expected, officially put to rest any speculation about his future with an announcement in April of his return.
He has been the team's starter since being drafted in the first round in 2004.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Roethlisberger threw for 3,819 yards and 29 touchdowns with 13 interceptions over 14 games in 2016. He is the Steelers' all-time leader in passing yards (46,814) and touchdowns (301) in 185 career games.