Ben Roethlisberger Says NFL Team Reached out During 2022 Season About Possible Return
Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement from the NFL at the end of the 2021 season, but one NFL team was ready to bring him back in 2022. During an interview with Mark Madden of 105.9 The X on Tuesday, the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was asked if he was tempted to unretire last year, which led to him saying the San Francisco 49ers contacted him.
"I was really comfortable with my decision," Roethlisberger said, per NFL.com. "I would say this — last year, there were some truths to the Niners thing. Just in the sense that they were, I think, reaching out for something. Just to maybe gauge my interest. And so, I had discussions. That's all. I don't want to sit here and say that I was going or anything like that. They called to gauge interest.
WOW: Legendary #Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says that he was in discussions with the San Francisco #49ers during the 2022 season, but that he decided not to return to football.— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) March 21, 2023
Just imagine 🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/Vef0otZ3zY
"I had conversations with my agent, with my wife, my family. Prayed a lot about it. And I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a small part of me that was intrigued, like, 'Oh man, I could still do it,' like prove to people that I could still play. But at the end of the day, I just can't see myself in anything other than black and gold."
The 49ers had their share of quarterback issues in 2022. They started the season with Trey Lance who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. Jimmy Garoppolo took over before suffering an injury in Week 12. This led to rookie Brock Purdy taking over and leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship game. However, the 49ers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game largely because Purdy suffered a UCL injury.
"Even though they had a great chance, I think, to win a Super Bowl, it would've been hard for me to go try and win a Super Bowl anywhere else but [Pittsburgh]," Roethlisberger said. "So at the end of the day, it was the smallest little bleep in my heart to go play again." Roethlisberger, 41 spent his entire career (2004-2021) with the Steelers. He was selected to the Pro Bowl six times, led the NFL in passing yards twice and led the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles.