Ben Roethlisberger retires: Steelers QB releases video announcing end of 18-year NFL career

Ben Roethlisberger retires: Steelers QB releases video announcing end of 18-year NFL career



Ben Roethlisberger has made official what has been speculated all season: he is retiring from the NFL.

The Steelers quarterback announced in a video released Thursday morning that he is calling it a career after 18 seasons in the NFL. The video featured Roethlisberger speaking with his family on a couch in his home as footage from throughout his career played.

“I don’t know how to put into words what the game of football has meant to me, and what a blessing it has been,” Roethlisberger said. “While I know with confidence I have given my all to the game, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all it has given. A boy from Findlay, Ohio, with NFL dreams developed in Oxford at Miami University, blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a place to call home.

“The journey has been exhilirating defined by relationships and fueled by the spirit of competition. Yet 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.”

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Roethlisberger thanked God, his family, the coaches he has worked with in his career, the Rooney and Tull families, his teammates over the years and the fans that have cheered for him in his career.

“First and foremost, I need to thank the Lord for all the many blessings he has bestowed on me. To my wife Ashley, our children Benjamin, Baylee and Bodie, you lift and aspire me and give my life purpose. I’m so thankful for your love and support. I love you so much. To my parents and sister, every step of the way, your support and love has driven me to be the best and never give up. To the Rooney family, the Tull family, coach Tomlin, coach Cowher and all the coaches who have poured into me, the incredible people at every level that make the Pittsburgh Steelers a special organization. Thank you for believing in me, and allowing me to battle with you in pursuit of excellence. To all my teammates and the endless friendships I have 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. To Steeler nation, the best fans in all of sport, thank you for accepting and supporting me as your quarterback over the years. Football has 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.”

The 39-year-old quarterback has had a Hall of Fame career, claiming Super Bowl rings in 2006 and 2009, and earning six Pro Bowl selections. He has the fifth-most passing yards in a career (64,088), eighth-most passing touchdowns (418) and 16th-best passer rating (93.5).

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Roethlisberger’s retirement announcement comes after months of speculation — and assumption — that this would be his final season in the NFL. Late in the 2021 season, it was reported that he had told members of the organization that it would be his last with Pittsburgh. As the season continued to wind down, it became clearer that it would likely be his last in the league, from an emotional send-off in his final home game at Heinz Field to coach Mike Tomlin openly talking about a replacement in 2022.

Though Roethlisberger took the Steelers to the playoffs in 2021, it was clear that he was at the end of his career. He threw his fewest touchdown passes in a full season since 2011 and fewest passing yards in a full year since 2010. His final 2021 numbers saw him throw 22 touchdowns to 10 interceptions with 3,740 passing yards and a completion percentage of 64.5 percent. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the 37th-ranked quarterback out of 37.

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The focus in Pittsburgh will now turn to his replacement under center. The team had backups Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins behind him on the depth chart. Rudolph started eight games for Pittsburgh in 2019 and had 1,765 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions with an 8-3 record. He has since started two games and appeared in seven. Haskins, Washington’s first-round pick in 2019, started 13 games and appeared in 16 games for Washington in 2019 and 2020. He completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions before being released by Washington and signed by Pittsburgh in January 2021. 





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