Ben Roethlisberger is the biggest unintentional winner of Tom Brady unretiring.
Now that Tom Brady has announced he will be unretiring and returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the big winner in all this has to be Ben Roethlisberger.
Had Brady stayed retired, he and Big Ben would have gone in together in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2027. Even though Brady was the far superior signal-caller throughout their NFL careers, Roethlisberger earned his day in the sun alone at Canton. He and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers rabid fan base will make it to Northeast Ohio in six summers without Brady.
First-ballot Hall-of-Famers are a rarity and two quarterbacks going in the same year is really weird.
Ben Roethlisberger’s legacy benefits massively with Tom Brady unretiring
Roethlisberger won two Super Bowls as the Steelers franchise quarterback. The perennial Pro Bowler over in the AFC was part of one of the greatest quarterback draft classes of all time. He, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers will all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. Manning has the Super Bowls, while Rivers has the statistics and the Pro Bowls starring in the AFC West.
Had Brady stayed retired, it would have diminished what Roethlisberger accomplished in the NFL even more. While Roethlisberger is not even in the discussion of the greatest quarterbacks in league history, he did more than enough to have one day about him in Canton without Brady stealing the spotlight. This also makes things a tad easier for the hall of fame voters as well.
By having two undeniable first-ballot guys up for induction in the same year, it makes things difficult for the voters to figure out what three other finalists will join them. With Brady going into Canton a year after Roethlisberger in 2028, that leaves one more spot open for possible Canton enshrinement. Whoever the fifth guy in is in 2027 needs to thank Brady for playing one more year.
Expect for the Steelers to be one of the two teams playing in the Hall of Fame Game in six years.