"These are tense times for Pat," an insider says of the star, who left viewers stunned back in February when he seemingly mocked a contestant's lisp. (Last month, Pat Sajak accidentally gave away the answer to a puzzle by saying the words out loud before it was solved!)
"He's really feeling the stress from all angles right now, and the word is that he's wondering if it's worth sticking around," continues the insider. "He's not a quitter by any means, but it's not lost on him that he has plenty of other opportunities outside of the game show."
With the entertainment icon's 75th birthday just around the corner, retirement "could be an option," says the insider, who notes the "more likely choice" at the moment would be "making a break for it and trying something totally new" on TV.
"He's 74 and at a point where most people his age are winding down," the insider says of Sajak, who has hosted Wheel of Fortune alongside Vanna White since 1982.
"Pat wouldn't step aside in a huff or anything like that. He has too much class and respect for everyone involved in the show after everything they've done for him," promises the insider. "But there's a lot to be said for going out on a high and doing it on his own terms. He's feeling torn and carefully considering all of his options."
One thing is for sure: If Sajak does decide to move on, he'll be extremely missed. "Nobody wants to see Pat leave, least of all Vanna," adds the insider. "It's hard to imagine the series going on without him."