After 18 seasons within the NFL, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger introduced his retirement on Thursday. Though Huge Ben will clearly be retiring as a Steeler, that just about did not occur and that is as a result of Pittsburgh got here near buying and selling him greater than 10 years in the past.
As a matter of truth, the commerce was so near occurring that it was principally considered as a achieved deal. Former 49ers coach Mike Singletary revealed these new particulars throughout a current interview with The Athletic. In line with Singletary, he obtained referred to as into a gathering with the large decision-makers in San Francisco — then proprietor John York, CEO Jed York, director of participant personnel Trent Baalke — they usually informed him that they’d lower a take care of the Steelers to amass Roethlisberger.
The Steelers had been trying to commerce Huge Ben, who had just lately been accused of sexual assault. The one factor standing in the way in which of the commerce was that the 49ers needed to verify Singletary was on board. Nonetheless, he refused to log out on the deal for 2 large causes: He needed to present Alex Smith an opportunity to show himself and he did not wish to look like a hypocrite.
“I had been telling the staff I needed a staff of character,” Singletary informed The Athletic. “I felt I needed to be true to that. But when I may do it once more, I would do it otherwise.”
It isn’t clear when this potential commerce virtually occurred, but it surely was possible in 2010. After Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in March 2010, which was the second accusation towards him, the Steelers made it clear that they had been trying to commerce him with the Raiders even being talked about as a prime candidate.
Through the 2010 offseason, Singletary was coming off his first full yr on the job and through that 8-8 season, the 49ers offense was a giant disappointment. Though most head coaches would not have the facility to veto a possible commerce like this, particularly if the proprietor, CEO and director of participant personnel had been all on board, it is not loopy to suppose that Singletary was in a position to persuade them that buying Roethlisberger can be a horrible search for the staff from an optics standpoint.
Going into the 2010 season, Roethlisberger ended up being hit with a six-game suspension that finally obtained decreased to 4 video games. Though he solely began 12 video games that yr, he was nonetheless in a position to lead the Steelers to the Suepr Bowl.
As for Singletary, he ended up getting fired after a Week 16 loss to the Rams dropped the 49ers to 5-10.
If the 49ers had acquired Roethlisberger, it is a commerce that will have modified the course of NFL historical past, however Singletary stored it from occurring by vetoing the deal.