Ben Roethlisberger repeats 49ers attempted to gauge his interest to return to NFL
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Ben Roethlisberger has once again claimed that the San Francisco 49ers attempted to gauge his interest in returning to the NFL at one point during the 2022 season. Roethlisberger, who won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers, retired after the 2021 season.
This past season, the 49ers battled injuries at the quarterback position for pretty much the entire season. According to Roethlisberger, the 49ers reached out to his agent to see if he had any interest in joining the team.
“Listen, again, I’ll reiterate, it was them calling my agent just to gauge interest. They called but, again, I’ll reiterate. It was gauging interest," Roethlisberger said on his podcast, via Pro Football Talk.
Roethlisberger first broke the news in March
After Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered injuries, the 49ers turned to Brock Purdy - a seventh-round pick from the 2022 NFL draft. Purdy did well as the 49ers' starting quarterback before suffering a serious elbow injury early in the NFC Championship Game.
But before the 49ers realized Purdy was able of running the offense well, they apparently contacted Roethlisberger's agent. “They were, I think, reaching out maybe just to gauge my interest. 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 said in March. After Purdy went down injured early in the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers went on to suffer a 31-7 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Deebo Samuel - one of the biggest weapons on the 49ers offense - claimed after the game they would have won had Purdy stayed healthy. "Just look how well our defense was actually playing, keeping Jalen [Hurts] in the pocket, which he doesn't like to do at all.
So the [Eagles] offense wasn't doing anything. Our defense was doing what they were supposed to and I feel like if Brock was in as our quarterback and how our offense moves, I don't think it would have been close," Samuel said.