NFL Team Tried To Lure Big Ben Roethlisberger Out Of Retirement

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NFL fans were almost treated to a Ben Roethlisberger-led San Francisco 49ers team last season.

Big Ben caught some attention during a radio interview on Tuesday when he mentioned that the Niners reached out to him last year to gauge his interest in coming out of retirement to play in Santa Clara.

Roethlisberger pledged his allegiance to the Steelers when he passed on the opportunity, but admitted that he was tempted to join the Red & Gold.

Ben Roethlisberger
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

“There were some truths to the Niners thing,” Roethlisberger said on 105.9’s The X. “They were, I think reaching out maybe just to gauge my interest. I had discussions. I don’t want to sit here and say I was going or anything like that. They called me to gauge interest … ”


Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champ, spent 18 seasons playing quarterback for the Steelers. He announced his retirement at age 39 on Jan. 2022.

Roethlisberger added, “I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a small part of me that was intrigued. I could still do it and prove to people that I could still play. At the end of the day, I just can’t see myself in anything other than black and gold.”

Frankly, San Francisco could have benefitted from Roethlisberger’s addition.

General manager John Lynch reached out to Ben after backup Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a season-ending foot injury. The Niners were already short first-stringer Trey Lance when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.

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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

After Garoppolo went down, rookie Brock Purdy led a perfect 5-0 run as a starter to close the regular season. Ultimately, he went down in the NFC Championship Game against the Eagles due to a UCL injury. Fourth-stringer Josh Johnson stepped in but did not keep Philadelphia from handily winning the game.

With a stellar legacy left in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger was happy with riding into the sunset.

“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 here,” Roethlisberger shared.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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