Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger thought about the idea of ending his retirement to play for the San Francisco 49ers. Roethlisberger told Mark Madden on 105.9 The X on Tuesday that he had discussions with the 49ers about signing in San Francisco just months after he retired from the Steelers.

The 49ers at least considered luring Ben Roethlisberger out of retirement after quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered season-ending injuries. Ultimately, Roethlisberger wanted the Steelers to remain the only team that he ever played for.

“They were, I think, reaching out maybe just to gauge my interest,” Roethlisberger told Madden. “I had discussions. … I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a small part of me that was intrigued. I could still do it and prove to people that I could still play. At the end of the day, I just can’t see myself in anything other than black and gold.”

Roethlisberger called it a career after the 2021 NFL season. Even in his final year, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to the playoffs. Roethlisberger started at least 12 games in 17 seasons. Pittsburgh’s quarterback never once finished below .500 in any of those years.

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It’s unclear how close the 49ers actually came to offering Roethlisberger a contract. San Francisco was probably better off by not signing the retired quarterback.

Seventeen years Roethlisberger’s junior, Brock Purdy proved to be a more than capable starter for the 49ers. Purdy went 5-0 in the regular season and then won his first two playoff starts with San Francisco. The 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes were derailed in the NFC Championship Game when Purdy suffered a UCL injury that prevented him from being able to throw the football more than a few yards.

Roethlisberger had an 86.8 passer rating in his final NFL season. The results of a comeback season with the 49ers might not have been pretty, even in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.