Last offseason Ben Roethlisberger agreed to re-do his contract with the Steelers to remain in Pittsburgh for one final season. But he didn’t think everyone wanted him back.
Roethlisberger told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Kevin Colbert, who retired as General Manager of the Steelers this year, was ready to get rid of him a year ago. Roethlisberger also said coach Mike Tomlin would have moved on, but it was owner Art Rooney who made the call to bring him back for his swan song.
“It was mostly Kevin. He was ready to move on. I think Mike was a little ready to move on, but I think he was OK with me coming back. I think Mr. Rooney really wanted me to come back last year to play,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger says he’s satisfied with his final season as a Steeler.
“I thought I went out on my terms,” he said. “I never wanted to stay too long. I know some people might think I did. ‘You stayed last year.’ But I thought I played pretty well last year, to be honest. My arm feels like I still could go out and play. I’m pretty confident I could still play. But it’s every day. It’s mental. Not having to prepare for camp and the season has been the biggest blessing for me. I’m fine with where I’m at with everything.”
Many people will take issue with Roethlisberger’s claim that he played well last year, but he’s pleased with the way his career played out its final act. With some help from a team owner who may have seen some sentimental value on allowing Roethlisberger to retire on his own terms.