Why the Buzz Around Ben Roethlisberger’s Retirement Won’t Be Fading Anytime Soon
Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement became official at the end of January. While the news came as a shock to nobody, the announcement will still certainly cause a big shakeup for the Steelers. In fact, it can now be reported that Hall of Fame quarterback Roethlisberger’s replacement was officially announced at the end of March. The journey of going from confirming a highly anticipated retirement to selecting an official replacement was quite an adventure for fans who had their own opinions about who should step into the slot.
What Fans Have Been Taking Away From the Conversation
Head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear from the first murmurings of a Roethlisberger retirement that the Steelers coaching was team was already operating under the assumption that the team’s franchise quarterback would be calling it quits. While there was always the chance for a change of heart, fans considered it a done deal. Roethlisberger had just achieved the dual accomplishments of finishing up his 18th season and turning 40 when his retirement was made official.
Tomlinson also made no secret about the fact that the team was actively searching for a replacement to fill in the gap when the star QB exited. In fact, Tomlinson referred to the process as a “quarterback development” pursuit. At the time of Roethlisberger’s retirement, the Steelers still had backup quarterbacks Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins holding down the roster.
A member of the Steelers franchise since 2018, Rudolph has been acting as the primary backup QB since 2019. His contract that runs through the end of 2022 will reportedly dish out $4 million through next season. Rudolph’s record includes 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, 61.5% completion, and 2,366 passing yards. He stands at 5–4–1 for 10 games started for the Steelers across the past three seasons.
Would the Replacement Come From Within?
Reporters were quick to ask Tomlinson if internal backups were being considered to replace Roethlisberger. While Tomlin was tightlipped from the beginning, few insiders believed that this was the strategy the coach had in mind. The biggest giveaway that insiders weren’t being considered came in the form of Tomlin’s statement that the team was prioritizing what he referred to as “quarterback mobility” when making a decision. As Steelers fans know, no other team QB is currently seen as a dual-threat player at the moment. When pressed, Tomlinson did tell reporters that internal players would be given opportunities to prove that they have this quality after “establishing themselves.”
How Just About Nobody Got It Right When Guessing Roethlisberger’s Replacement
There was a short list of names being thrown around for who was likely to replace Roethlisberger. The biggest noise seemed to revolve around Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral. The one commonly parroted report that was consistent that the plan wouldn’t revolve around moving toward a big-name free agent.
Replacing Roethlisberger brings with it the burden of filling some incredible shoes. He was picked by the Steelers in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft after playing college football at Miami. Roethlisberger’s 2022 retirement announcement comes on the heels of some incredible successes. During his career with the Steelers, Roethlisberger assisted the team in two Super Bowl championships. The Steelers were also sent to the Pro Bowl six times during Roethlisberger’s tenure. The QB also led the league in passing yards for both 2014 and 2018. Roethlisberger was best known for his durability on the field. He managed to play at least 12 regular-season games for 17 out of his 18 seasons. Steelers fans may recall that Roethlisberger suffered a setback in 2019 when a season-ending elbow injury took him out in the season’s second week. Following surgery to retract torn flexor tendons in his right elbow, Roethlisberger was able to make a full recovery that allowed him to get back into camp the following season.
Ending a Huge 18-Season Career on a High Note
It can be said that Roethlisberger is going out on a high note even though his final season didn’t exactly allow him to reach the heights he had intended. Following a shaky 3-1 start that was paired with a three-game streak of losses, the Steelers did creep into the playoffs. Roethlisberger was able to close it all out by throwing 3,740 yards with 22 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. During the final weeks of the 2021 season, fans speculated that the Week 17 home game against the Browns would be Roethlisberger’s last after an emotional Roethlisberger remained on the field to greet fans before departing into the tunnel with his family.
Fans waited through several long months of unconfirmed retirement rumors before Roethlisberger finally made his announcement on Jan. 27 of 2022. The official announcement was shared in a Twitter post from Roethlisberger’s personal account (@_BigBen7) in the form of a video message. It would be two long months more before the Steelers would announce that the team had found a replacement for Roethlisberger.
A Replacement Is Announced: Mitchell Trubisky Will Fill the Gap Left by Ben Roethlisberger for the 2022 NFL Season
The news came on March 17. The Steelers would be bringing in Mitchell Trubisky as the team’s new quarterback. Will he be able to help the team keep up its 18-season winning streak? With two Pro Bowl appearances to his name, Trubisky is 29-21 as a starter in the NFL. However, the truth is that not many people had Trubisky on their radars before the choice was announced. Trubisky played his first four seasons in Chicago. This is where he had his two Pro Bowl appearances. He then moved on to Buffalo as Josh Allen’s backup. Trubisky’s Steelers contract is reportedly a two-year deal worth $14 million.
Life After Retirement for Ben Roethlisberger: Fans Are Still Keeping an Eye on Their Favorite Quarterback
While much about how Trubisky will fare as a Steelers member remains in the air, the one thing fans won’t have to speculate on is what Ben Roethlisberger will be doing in retirement. The newly retired QB has already revealed his plans. When asked by reporters how he intends to spend his newly found free time after 18 grueling consecutive seasons in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger’s reply was that it was time to focus on family. The father of three told reporters that his sole objective for retirement was to do everything possible to be the best father ever. He also shared that he intends to focus on outreach beyond the field by trying his best to do work he describes as “expanding God’s kingdom.”
Roethlisberger has shared some insights into the life he’s living fresh off of his retirement announcement with his followers on social media. He recently shared a snapshot of himself attending a Toby Mac concert with his young son. He’s also shared some photos of his home life with his wife and kids. Of course, even fans who are used to following Roethlisberger on social media may not fully absorb the fact that he will not be returning to the field again until the 2022 season kicks off in September. The new season will give fans a chance to see Trubisky in action following a highly anticipated replacement that still has many looking at the stats with a little apprehension.
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