Big Ben to unretire, return to stabilize Steelers QB room

In an unprecedented move, it was announced today that former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be coming out of retirement to rejoin the team this season.

The 42-year-old Roethlisberger last played in 2021, saying farewell in the final game played under the banner of “Heinz Field” before riding off into the sunset. Over the last two seasons the Steelers have attempted to fill the big shoes left by Big Ben but now admit they may have made a mistake moving on from their future Hall of Famer.

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While the announcement’s timing may seem strange after the additions of Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, it’s an open secret that team president Art Rooney II and general manager Omar Khan want to improve the quarterback situation. Both individuals stated this offseason that they would explore every potential avenue, whether that be signing a free agent, trading for a player, or drafting a rookie.

But one area most teams overlook is retired players, and now Pittsburgh is at the forefront of this philosophy as they have been with other groundbreaking methods in the past.

Roethlisberger’s leadership both on and off the field had been instrumental in shaping the team’s identity, instilling a winning mentality in his teammates. His ability to remain composed under pressure, make split-second decisions, and rally the team in crucial moments not only elevated his own performance but would have been a popular sports betting subject at Betway and other prominent betting sites.

Fans will recall several years ago following a five-interception game that Roethlisberger had commented how “the old gunslinger doesn’t have it”. Big Ben declined to comment on his return, but a source close to the legendary Steelers quarterback stated the contrary:

“Ben is a gunslinger and as such, still has that itch to get out there and compete.”

Producing podcasts and drinking craft beer made the desire to return strong, as many of Roethlisberger’s guests are former players. “Being around those guys made Ben realize he still wants to do this while he has an opportunity to.”

Plenty of passers have had success at age 42 and beyond. Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and Vinny Testaverde all played into their mid-40s. So why can’t Big Ben? That was the question posed as talks between the organization and player heated up following the trade of Kenny Pickett.

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With only three quarterbacks on the roster, and needing four for training camp this summer, the team was expected to add one more passer, but no one expected a splash of this magnitude. According to reports, Khan was able to get Big Ben to agree in principal to a team-friendly deal to provide more insurance under the league’s newer emergency quarterback rules.

The source above also noted that while Roethlisberger walked away from football in 2022 to spend more time with his family, he would like his kids to be able to see him play through something other than throwback videos.

“I’m going to take this off-season to evaluate, to consider all options,” Roethlisberger  once said in an interview on a Pittsburgh radio station. “To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there’s going to be a next season.”

Now it appears there will be a next season, as the Steelers all-time leading passer returns, but in a role that best allows him to support the team. A reduced workload keeps Big Ben fresh and also alleviates his wife’s concerns of injury – which was a major factor in the quarterback choosing to retire years ago.

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It would appear the “Khan Artist” strikes again with this announcement. The situation is a win-win for Roethlisberger and the current quarterbacks on the roster. The elder Big Ben will not be counted on as a Week 1 starter, since the team still feels firmly about the prospects of playing Wilson. They can also redshirt Justin Fields and have him sit behind not one, but two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, to continue his development.

Unfortunately, the loser in this situation is Kyle Allen, who signed a deal to be the team’s third quarterback a week ago. The good news for Allen, however, is that this is an April Fools article written for fun and is 100% satire. With that said it would be interesting to see Roethlisberger toss the pigskin around, if only for fun at a future practice session or training camp.

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