Big Ben is a living legend, but he didn't magically appear in the NFL, it was thanks to his performance as a college quarterback with Miami (OH). During his college years Ben Roethlisberger left a good mark that caught the attention of the NFL teams at the time, including the Pittsburgh Steelers that drafted him in the early 21th century in 2004.
Ben Roethlisberger's stats in college football were good, 84 touchdowns, 34 interceptions, 10829 passing yards, 854/1304 passes completed, 65.5%, 8.3 yards per attempt and 151.3 rate overall. His last season with Miami (OH) was the best for him, plus Big Ben was named the 2003 MAC Offensive Player of the Year.
The Steelers were looking for a quarterback in the draft, they needed to go back to the glory days when the team was dominant and had a high level offensive game. The Pittsburgh Steelers had their eyes on Ben Roethlisberger since his departure from college football.
When was Ben Roethlisberger drafted by the Steelers?
The Steelers drafted Ben Roethlisberger with the #11 overall pick in the Round 1 of the 2004 Draft, and that was the best pick during the draft for them. Other big names quarterbacks drafted during 2004 alongside Big Ben in Round 1 were Philip Rivers and Eli Manning.
Ben Roethlisberger's first contract was signed for just $230,000 but he won every game of the 2004 season and the Steelers renegotiated his contract with him. The following season, Ben Roethlisberger was earning $305,000 a year, but he won the Super Bowl and was paid a $1,951,500 bonus which opened the door for another deal to rebuild his contract.
Who will replace Ben Roethlisberger as a quarterback for the Steelers?
Options are on the table and the franchise has months to spare to search for the Steelers' new starting quarterback. One of the names that is on the list to fill the position left by Big Ben is Russell Wilson, he will be a perfect fit with his Super Bowl experience. Another name is Jimmy Garoppolo but it is unlikely that he will leave the 49ers after such good results.