Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly not on good terms after the quarterback’s final season with the team.
The craziness of the NFL offseason has truly embodied didn’t have this on the BINGO card energy. From Russell Wilson and Tyreek Hill being traded to Tom Brady having an about-face on retiring from football, it’s been a spring full of plot twists.
In the latest, and perhaps most striking example of that energy, it sounds like Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are engaged in a blood fued.
According to Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac, via PFT’s Mike Florio, there is allegedly “bad blood” between the Steelers and Big Ben. It seems as though Roethlisberger’s retirement is the root cause, however, Dulac didn’t elaborate further on what the specifics were and if the bad blood remains.
The Troy in question is another Steelers icon, Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. It’s widely believed that the Steelers forced the franchise legend and fan-favorite into retirement when it deemed he was no longer the player he used to be in his prime.
It’s not hard to draw parallels between Polamalu’s situation and the narrative around Roethlisberger’s final season in Pittsburgh.
Was Ben Roethlisberger forced into retirement by the Steelers?
Whether Big Ben wanted to play another season with the Steelers is irrelevant at this point. He retired at the end of last season and Pittsburgh used a first round pick in this year’s NFL Draft on Kenny Pickett to be their quarterback of the future.
Perhaps there was a reality where Roethlisberger did come back for another season if that’s what he desired. That alternate universe may be messier than the reality Steelers fans are in now, however.
It was clear that he was no longer the player he used to be so Roethlisberger deciding to return likely wouldn’t have deterred the Steelers from drafting Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick. This would have magnified what was allegedly the situation last year where the Steelers were forcing Big Ben out, but rather than do it quietly and seemingly amicably, Roethlisberger’s final year with the Steelers would have been more like Brett Favre’s in Green Bay.
Above all else, if it is indeed true that there was bad blood last season between Roethlisberger and the Steelers, this once again serves as a glowing endorsement of Mike Tomlin’s ability to keep his locker room whole and the drama out of the public’s eye in order to put together a winning season.