49ers Pursued 2-Time Super Bowl Winning QB, Who Became Interested

Kyle Shanahan

Getty Kyle Shanahan on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia in the NFC title game.

Time to add a new former Super Bowl winning quarterback who was linked to the San Francisco 49ers. Except, Ben Roethlisberger had this involving him compared to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers: The 49ers pursued him, he says.

Speaking with Mark Madden on 105.9 The X on Tuesday, March 21, the Super Bowl 40 and 43 winner with the Pittsburgh Steelers clarified any rumbling involving “Big Ben” and the 49ers.

“Last year there was some truth to the Niners thing,” Roethlisberger said on the radio. “They were, I think, reaching out maybe just to gauge my interest.”

Roethlisberger Would’ve Walked Into Depleted QB Room

The pursuit for “Big Ben” points to how ravaged the quarterback room became in the Bay Area.

Trey Lance went down with a broken ankle, Jimmy Garoppolo then sustained a high ankle sprain and the 49ers were left with “Mr. Irrelevant” Brock Purdy and practice squad member Josh Johnson.

Roethlisberger, who played his final NFL season in 2021 which capped an 18-season career, went 165-81-1 as a starter per Pro Football Reference and took the Steelers to three Super Bowls — losing his last one to Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the 2010 season. Roethlisberger went on to deliver 64,088 career passing yards, 418 yards and 211 interceptions. And he posted those marks with one team.

But turns out Roethlisberger had talks with others about the possibility of coming out of retirement.

“I had discussions,” he revealed.

Then, he shared what he really thought of the opportunity to wear the 49er colors and help out a QB room in need.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a small part of me that was intrigued,” Roethlisberger said. “I could still do it and prove to people that I could still play.

However, “At the end of the day, I just can’t see myself in anything other than black and gold.”

Had “Big Ben” came over to the Bay Area, he would’ve had a wide receiver he’s familiar with from his Steel City days: Former Steeler Ray-Ray McCloud.

The 49ers have since addressed their QB room by signing former top five draft pick from the 2018 class Sam Darnold in the 2023 free agency period.

Darnold Reveals What he’s Most Excited for in Bay Area

Darnold, now on his third NFL team as he nears his sixth season in the league, didn’t need to go through the trade process this time. He had his choosing of where to land as an unrestricted free agent. But he still had voices in his ear to ensure he was making the decision that made him best comfortable.

“I had great people in my corner to be able to narrow the scope a little bit in terms of what I was looking for,” Darnold told the Bay Area media in his introductory press conference after the signing. “I think at the end of the day, it was a fairly easy decision for me to be able to come here and be able to go to work.”

This time, he’s at a place with a QB guru in Kyle Shanahan and former veteran QB Brian Griese.

“That’s what I’m most excited for is to be able to work with Kyle, Brian Griese and all the coaches on this staff and again, all the players, the great personnel that is around this locker room. From top to bottom, just excited to get started in this organization and get to work,” Darnold said.

Read More