Is Ben Roethlisberger bitter about how time with Steelers ended?
Ben Roethlisberger saw his skills decline rather dramatically over the final two seasons of his career, but he still managed to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to the playoffs in both. His decision to retire was a logical one, but would he have stuck around if the team asked him to?
One longtime Steelers reporter seems to think he would have. In his weekly chat with fans, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was asked if there is “bad blood” between Roethlisberger and the team over the way Big Ben’s career ended. Dulac kept his response simple, but it was noteworthy.
“I would say it’s very very safe to assume that,” Dulac replied.
As Josh Carney of Steelers Depot notes, it is possible the situation with Roethlisberger was similar to what happened with Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu prior to the 2015 season. Polamalu did not want to retire. He also did not want to play for another team. The Steelers, who had salary cap issues, told the eight-time Pro Bowler that they would have to cut him if he did not retire.
Polamalu was openly upset and snubbed the Steelers for years. It wasn’t until he was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year that he smoothed things over with his former team.
Perhaps the same has happened with Roethlisberger, though the former quarterback’s contract with the Steelers expired. Still, he had an interesting remark on the “DVE Morning Show” recently when asked if he would consider coming out of retirement.
“First off, my coach and GM don’t want me back,” Roethlisberger said. “Second off, I’m pretty content with where I’m at.”
If Roethlisberger’s decision to retire was based solely on not wanting to play anymore, why would he mention that Mike Tomlin does not want him back? That comment seemed quite telling.
Roethlisberger is one of the most important players in Steelers franchise history. We doubt there will be any type of cold war between the two sides, but it would not be a shock to learn that Big Ben was less than thrilled with the way his time in Pittsburgh ended.