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Ben Roethlisberger admits to nearly unretiring to join San Francisco 49ers in 2022

Despite dealing with injuries to all three of their quarterbacks last season, the San Francisco 49ers still managed to reach the NFC Conference Championship before Brock Purdy‘s elbow injury doomed their chances for good.

Now Ben Roethlisberger, who spent last season in retirement after 18 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, says he even discussed joining Kyle Shanahan’s team in 2022.

Speaking in an interview with Mark Madden on 105.9 The X, Roethlisberger said it was the 49ers who were reaching out, not him.

“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.”

Ben Roethlisberger opens up about thoughts of coming out of retirement

Roethlisberger never quite seemed ready to move on from the Steelers, even suggesting at one point that Pittsburgh was the one who wanted a QB change. Seeing as though they added Kenny Pickett with the 20th pick in the first round in last year’s draft, that side of the story isn’t tough to believe.

Yet, even Big Ben himself, who recently turned 41, admitted he’d prefer to stay loyal to the Steelers fanbase after delivering two Super Bowl Trophies to Pittsburgh. Who knows, maybe if the 49ers had signed Roethlisberger, the NFCCG could have turned out differently. At this point, we’ll never know.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Lamar Jackson situation and potential landing spots

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