Steelers quarterback Ben “Big Ben” Roethlisberger has officially announced his retirement after an 18-year career with the Pittsburgh franchise.
“While I know with confidence, I have given my all to the game, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all it has given me,” Roethlisberger said on Twitter.
The six-time Pro Bowler announced his decision Thursday, posting a farewell video to Steeler fans.
“The journey has been exhilarating - defined by relationships and fueled by a spirit of competition,” said Roethlisberger. “Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats, and continue to be all I can be for my wife and children. I retire from football, a truly thankful man.”
Ohio native Big Ben was the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft after finishing his career at Miami University. In his very first season playing NFL football, he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. During his career, he became a six-time Pro Bowler and won two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers.
Roethlisberger, 39, spent 18 seasons as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers – a team he calls home, with teammates he calls brothers.
“Putting on that jersey every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life,” the future Hall of Fame QB said.
He won a total of 165 games and ranks fifth all-time in career passing yardage, as he threw for 64,088 yards, ranking him right behind Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Payton Manning and Brett Favre. He threw 418 touchdowns, making him eighth in career passing touchdowns. He drove the Steelers to three Super Bowls over the years, and came out with two Lombardi Trophies in 2006 and 2009.
Big Ben is nothing but appreciative to all those who rode this NFL journey with him over the last two decades. He sits with his wife and children while expressing his gratitude for the years spent playing the game he loves. He thanks his wife Ashley, his three children Benjamin, Baylee, and Bodie, his parents, his sister, and his coaches - Coach Tomlin, Coach Cowher.
Roethlisberger finishes his journey with immense pride for the city of Pittsburgh, Steelers Nation fans, the team and of course the sport of football itself.
“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,” said Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger will have a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame