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NFL World Reacts To Crazy Ben Roethlisberger Trade Story

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass the ball against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially called it a career earlier this week, announcing his retirement.

Big Ben spent his entire career in Pittsburgh, winning two Super Bowls with the iconic NFL franchise. He will end up in Canton, Ohio in a couple of years.

According to a new report, however, Big Ben nearly played for another National Football League franchise.

Former 49ers head coach Mike Singletary reportedly rejected a Big Ben to San Francisco trade earlier this century.

From The Athletic:

Quarterback Alex Smith was in his fifth season in Singletary’s first full year as head coach. The former first pick of the draft had been a massive disappointment, and moving on would have been best for all. But Singletary liked Smith, saw his potential, and knew he had worked with four coordinators in his first four years. He wanted to give him a chance, and he told him he would. Then, 49ers owner John York, CEO Jed York, director of player personnel Trent Baalke and other executives called Singletary to a meeting. They had a trade in place with the Steelers for Ben Roethlisberger, who had recently been accused of sexual assault. Singletary vetoed the deal. He felt an obligation to Smith, and he also believed he needed to stand for what he had been preaching. “I had been telling the team I wanted a team of character,” he says. “I felt I had to be true to that. But if I could do it again, I’d do it differently.”

So, Big Ben nearly ended up on the 49ers. How wild would that have been? "From a strictly talent perspective, that's a little disappointing. From a moral and loyal perspective, it was the right choice," one 49ers fan admitted. "Respect to Coach Sing. Stuck to his principles and played a sizable hand in galvanizing this team ahead of Harbaugh's arrival. He was not a great strategic coach, but he was a leader of men," another fan admitted. "The only good thing Mike Singletary did as head coach," one fan added.

What could have been, right?