What Ben Roethlisberger's Been Up To Since Retiring

Legendary quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a prolific career with the Pittsburgh Steelers that lasted for 17 years. In the 2004 NFL Draft, he was the 11th overall pick in the first round and was drafted to the Steelers to shadow behind veteran QBs Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch, per The Bleacher Report. In his second season as a pro footballer, Roethlisberger helped lead the Steelers to win Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006, and would later earn another Super Bowl win against the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, as reported by NBC Sports.

During his career in the NFL, Roethlisberger garnered a number of incredible accolades, including spots on the top five lists of all-time passing yards, as well as all-time pass completions and attempts, according to Sporting News. Since his retirement from the NFL in January 2022, the two-time Super Bowl champion has kept his schedule busy between hosting a podcast, spending time with his family, and doing charity work. Here's what Roethlisberger has been up to since he left the field.

Ben Roethlisberger visited some beloved Pittsburgh sports teams

Retiring from the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't keep Ben Roethlisberger away from the Pittsburgh sports scene, and, as a matter of fact, it only inspired him to be closer with the city's various sports organizations.

On February 19, 2022, just a few short weeks after he announced his retirement in late January, the former QB was spotted with not one, but two Pittsburgh-based sports groups: the Pirates baseball team and the Penguins hockey team. In an official Twitter post by the Penguins, Roethlisberger geared up with Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin after the team's practice. According to DK Pittsburgh Sports, the NFL star was there for a private event, though other details regarding his presence were never specified.

That same day, Big Ben also showed some love to the Pirates, and was pictured on Twitter swinging some practice balls in the team's facility while wearing a personalized jersey with his name on it. While it doesn't look like Roethlisberger will take up an interest in another professional sport, he nonetheless seemingly enjoys being involved with the teams in Pittsburgh.

His relationship with the Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger earned the title of the Steelers franchise quarterback over the years, which is why it came as a shock to fans when he announced his swift retirement in January 2022. Following the announcement, speculation immediately stirred surrounding the decision, and many believed that Big Ben's relationship with the Steelers organization ended on a bitter note. When asked if Roethlisberger was forced into retirement, which some have compared to that of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh-Post Gazette sports journalist and NFL insider Gerry Dulac said in a May 2022 interview, "I would say it's very very safe to assume that."

Journalists and sports insiders aren't the only ones who commented on this alleged bad blood, as Roethlisberger himself touched on the nature of leaving the Steelers. In June 2022, Big Ben sat down with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalist Ron Cook to discuss his career and his post-retirement plans, and gave a bit of insight into the circumstances surrounding his departure. Regarding the organization pushing him, the former QB revealed, "It was mostly Kevin [Colbert]. He was ready to move on. I think Mike [Tomlin] was a little ready to move on, but I think he was OK with me coming back. I think Mr. [Art] Rooney really wanted me to come back last year to play."

Despite this, Roethlisberger explained that he left his career on his own terms and is content with what he's doing and where he is today.

He's spending time with his family

Besides football, family is a huge passion of Ben Roethlisberger, and the former Steelers QB has spent much of his retirement enjoying time with his wife and three children. According to The U.S. Sun, Big Ben married his wife, Ashley Harlan, in July 2011, and the two have been going strong ever since. Harlan herself has an accomplished career and works as a physician, though both she and Roethlisberger prioritize time for their children: Bodie, Baylee, and Benjamin.

Following his retirement announcement in January 2022, he told the press (via All Steelers Fan Nation), "Being a husband and father, it never takes a day off. You got to keep going. As we move from one chapter to the next, it's going to be different, but it's going be fun. It's going to be a new challenge and I'm looking forward to it."

In the months after Big Ben hung up his jersey, he frequently posted family pictures on his Twitter account. One post included a picture with his son Bodie at a Toby Mac concert, in which he wrote, "Bodie making sure HE gets the best view of the @tobymac concert tonight — beating out both his big brother & big sister."

Ben Roethlisberger started a podcast called Footbahlin

Though Ben Roethlisberger has taken a permanent break from the physical aspect of sports, he is still very much active in the sports world, and even hosts his own podcast to share his thoughts and expertise on football today. In September 2022, the two-time Super Bowl champion announced the launch of his podcast, "Footbahlin," on Twitter. The podcast, according to Roethlisberger himself, will consist of him sampling craft beers, giving football insight, and chatting with a variety of special guests. "After years of sampling unique beers & talking football w/friends, we've made it a show!" he wrote in part in the post.

As of November 2, "Footbahlin" has 10 episodes, and has over 29,000 subscribers on Roethlisberger's "Channel Seven" Youtube channel, which shares, "a sneak peak into his faith, family and his love for football." Topics of the podcast range from Big Ben's most painful injuries, to friendships with former Steelers players, and even his favorite Super Bowl.

He dedicates his time to charitable causes

Football and family are just two of Ben Roethlisberger's passions, and outside of dedicating his time to his career and family, the former QB is also involved in a number of charitable organizations.

In 2005, Big Ben launched the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which "seeks to provide support for police and fire departments throughout the US with a particular emphasis on service dogs," per the official website of the foundation. In addition, the foundation is dedicated to offering support and assistance to residents in Findlay, Ohio, where Roethlisberger grew up and played football, as well as Pittsburgh.

Along with the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars in grants to K-9 programs across the country (via CBS News), the "Footbahlin" host has also teamed up with the Make-A-Wish foundation on several occasions and granted more than 160 wishes to children with critical illnesses. Back in 2013, NBC's affiliate station in Pittsburgh, WPXI, reported that Roethlisberger notably made a $30,000 donation to the Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia chapter of the foundation, and he hasn't slowed down his charitable momentum since.

Ben Roethlisberger is no longer the NFL's most sacked quarterback

At the time of his retirement, Ben Roethlisberger held the record for the NFL's most sacked quarterback, having a total of 554 sacks during his career as a Steeler, per Steelers Depot. The record is not typically something to be proud of, and thankfully for Big Ben, a new quarterback now holds the title.

On October 27, 2022, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady surpassed Roethlisberger in career sacks following a rough Thursday night football game against the Baltimore Ravens, with a total of 556 career sacks, just two more than the former NFL star's record, as reported by The Sports Rush.

The embarrassing record is not abnormal for veteran quarterbacks in the league, however. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has a career record of 513 sacks, while Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan has 471, according to CBS Sports. Luckily for Big Ben, he made it out of the NFL before his sack stats grew.