Ben Roethlisberger said that he was "surprised" when the Steelers selected Mason Rudolph in the NFL draft after telling his team he wanted to play for another three to five years.
The quarterback revealed this on Friday as a guest on the "Cook and Poni Show" on Pittsburgh's 93.7 The Fan.
"I told them right away, so it wasn't like it was a big surprise," Roethlisberger said. "I wanted them to know so that they wouldn't have to worry about drafting a quarterback...You want to be fair to the team and give them ample time to figure out your replacement or whatever. I wanted to make sure there was no question and they didn’t have to think about it, so I told them when the season was over I felt really good and was planning on coming for three-to-five years.
“So I was surprised when they took a quarterback, because I thought that maybe in the third round, you can get some really good football players that can help this team now,” Roethlisberger said. “Nothing against Mason. I think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid."
Rudolph joins an already crowded Steelers roster, considering Pittsburgh drafted quarterbacks Landry Jones in 2013 and Josh Dobbs in 2017. Both were taken in the fourth round. Roethlisberger questions where Rudolph's role will be.
"I just don’t know how, you know, backing up or being the third guy — who knows where he’s going to fall on the depth chart — but [how it] helps us win now. But that’s not my decision to make. That’s on the coaches and the GM and the owner and those kind of things. If they feel he can help our team, so be it, but I was a little surprised.”
Roethlisberger also said the Steelers seemed excited when he told them he wanted to play for another three to five years, but the draft raised questions.
"Once they drafted a quarterback in the third, I wasn't sure if they believed me or not," Roethlisberger continued. "But I'm committed to it."
After Rudolph said it's his "job to learn" and not Roethlisberger's job to teach him, the current starting quarterback seems to agree.
"I don't think I'll need to, now that he said he doesn't need me," Roethlisberger said. "If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook."