Ben Roethlisberger Says 49ers Pursued Him in 2022
Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in conversations to join the San Francisco 49ers during the 2022 season, he said during an interview with Mark Madden on 105.9 The X on Tuesday.
The 49ers dealt with several injuries at the quarterback position in 2022, with Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo both suffering season-ending injuries, forcing rookie seventh-round pick Brock Purdy to lead the team through the second half of the season until he was injured in the playoff run.
Roethlisberger said that he eventually decided to not pursue the opportunity, saying that he couldn’t see himself playing for another team after 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“They were, I think, reaching out maybe just to gauge my interest,” Roethlisberger said. “I had discussions. … 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.”
Roethlisberger is the NFL record-holder for the most passing yards in a career by a quarterback that only played for one team with 64,088. Dan Marino is second with 61,361. Aaron Rodgers is the current active leader with 59,055, though that may change in 2023.
Instead of landing Roethlisberger, the 49ers ended up singing journeyman backup Josh Johnson. Johnson ended up replacing Purdy in the NFC Championship Game when he was injured. The 49ers lost, 31-7, to the Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles.
Roethlisberger appears otherwise happily retired and continues to produce his Footbahlin podcast.
“I love waking up in the morning and not having issues with my knees and shoulders and elbows,” he said.
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