Ben Roethlisberger 49ers trade vetoed by Mike Singletary in 2009

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Ex-49ers coach Singletary says he vetoed Roethlisberger trade to SF originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Ben Roethlisberger ... 49ers quarterback?

That nearly happened before the 2009 season, according to Mike Singletary.

In a profile on the former 49ers head coach by The Athletic's Dan Pompei, Singletary described an offseason meeting where various members of the 49ers brass, including owner John York, CEO Jed York and director of player personnel Trent Baalke said they had a trade in place with the Pittsburgh Steelers to acquire Roethlisberger.

However, Singletary says he vetoed the deal due to his allegiance to incumbent quarterback Alex Smith as well as not wanting to bring in Roethlisberger, who had recently been accused of sexual assault.

“I had been telling the team I wanted a team of character,” Singletary told Pompei. “I felt I had to be true to that. But if I could do it again, I’d do it differently.”

On July 17, 2009, a civil suit was filed against Roethlisberger accusing the Steelers franchise QB of sexual assault. The suit ended in Dec. 2011 when the parties agreed to a settlement.

Roethlisberger, at the time of Singletary's meeting with 49ers execs, was coming off his second Super Bowl victory and was viewed as one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. Roethlisberger wound up staying in Pittsburgh, where he has amassed an 18-year career that has him bound for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Meanwhile, Singletary and the 49ers stuck with a combination of Smith and Shaun Hill at quarterback for the 2009 season, where the 49ers went 8-8. Singletary was fired at the tail end of the 2010 season, after the 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention with one game remaining.

He compiled an 18-22 record in his career as the 49ers head coach.

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