Pittsburgh Steelers Trying to Make Things Just a Bit More Awkward for Ben Roethlisberger

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Ben Roethlisberger's slow, lumbering walk out of the Pittsburgh Steelers' lives is not ideal for those who cringe other people's tensions, yet it continues apace. The aging quarterback wants to return and play football for the only franchise he's ever known. The only franchise he's ever known is making it known that, yeah, well, whatever happens, it's certainly been a hell of a ride. Which means that, if given truth serum, they'd confirm that they want nothing more than to say goodbye.

Once an 11-0 start evaporated, it was clear that Big Ben was holding the team's long-term future hostage. Retirement was the best path forward for the Steelers.

So it's no surprise then that they are gritting their teeth and committing to make things as uncomfortable as possible, hoping to send the message a bit less subtly. Here's general manager Kevin Colbert today sounding positively indifferent to more shared goals with the signal-caller.

These are not the things one wants to hear during times of friction. Or any time really. There's not even an allusion to waving at the accepted norm of begging someone to stay when all you really want is for them to leave.

Will this work, though? Roethlisberger seems like the type of guy who would keep showing up to the job site on his off-days and after his time there had ended anyway. There's a chance he's the starting quarterback next year solely because he went and lined up there on his own accord.