The news that the whole NFL had been expecting for weeks but that no one wanted to hear has finally arrived: Pittsburgh Steelers legend Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement on Thursday.
Big Ben has decided to retire from the Steelers after 18 seasons with the team, announcing his decision on Twitter with an emotional video in which he is joined by his wife and three children as they watch memories of his illustrious career.
Roethlisberger said: “The time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats, and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man.”
Words of Encouragements
Throughout his career, the 39-year-old quarterback had no shortage of impassioned words for his colleagues, with whom he was always unified on and off the field.
Ben said: “To all my teammates and the endless friendships that I’ve gained, I appreciate you and our shared commitment to wearing the black and gold with pride and dignity.”
“Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life.”
He added: “The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships and fueled by a spirit of competition … Football has been a gift, and I thank God for allowing me to play it. Surrounding me with great people, and protecting me through to the end with love and honor.”
Roethlisberger received the Offensive Rookie of the Year title in his first season after being taken 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft.
In addition to becoming a six-time Pro Bowl selection and twice being the NFL passing yards leader, the future Hall of Famer won the first of his two Super Bowls (2005 and 2008) a year later (2014 and 2018). Roethlisberger finished his career with 64,088 passing yards and 418 passing touchdowns.