The Pittsburgh Steelers will look very different in 2022 when they take the field, due to the absence of long-time starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger, who turned 40 in March, called it a career after 17 years with the Steelers which included two Super Bowl wins and six Pro-Bowl appearances.

Pittsburgh will now turn to either free-agent addition Mitch Trubisky or first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett to run the offense in 2022.

In other words, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position for the Steelers for the first time in nearly two decades.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, it wasn’t necessarily Roethlisberger’s idea to retire.

Jan 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) drops back to pass as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Chris Board (49) and outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) aplly pressure during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Dulac recently hosted a Q&A with fans and he was asked if Roethlisberger was forced into retirement by Pittsburgh.

Here’s the exchange:

Q: Is there bad blood between the Steelers and Big Ben with how his career ended. Was he ready to retire or was it a Troy [Polamalu) type situation where he was forced into it?

Gerry Dulac: I would say it’s very very safe to assume that.

Dulac is a plugged-in guy, so I think it’s safe to say there’s probably something to this.

I can understand Roethlisberger not being ready to hang up the cleats, but the Steelers had to make a business decision. And using a significant amount of cap space on an aging quarterback whose production has slipped in recent years wouldn’t have been a wise decision.

I wouldn’t expect the bad blood to linger too long. Pittsburgh and Roethlisberger gave a lot to each other. He’ll always be a legend in the Steel City.

Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports