Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger retires after 18 seasons

After a Hall of Fame career “Big Ben” hangs up his jersey

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Ben Roethlisberger high-fives fans after his last home game

Cam Meyer, Editorial Staff

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially retired on Thursday, January 27, 2022.

Roethlisberger announced his retirement through a video on his twitter, quoted as stating “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. While I know with confidence I have given my all to the game, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all it has given me. A boy from Finley, Ohio with NFL dreams, developed at Oxford at Miami University (Ohio), blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a place to call home. The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships and fueled by a 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,” via _BigBen7 on Twitter.

Roethlisberger has been hinting at a retirement throughout the season, and as the season went on it became more and more evident that this would be his final season as an NFL quarterback. Roethlisberger’s final game came against Kansas City in the AFC Wild Card game where they would lose 42-21, he threw for 215 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, according to NFL.com.

Seeing Roethlisberger in the postseason isn’t that unfamiliar. Ben has reached the playoffs 12 times along with 8 division titles. The Steelers have gone to the Super Bowl 3 times with Roethlisberger at the helm, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl 40. It was Roethlisberger’s second season, and at 23 he became the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl. Three years later, in Super Bowl 43 Big Ben and The Steelers edged past the Arizona Cardinals, by a score of 27-23, where he threw the iconic game-winning 6-yard touchdown pass to Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds remaining. His only Super Bowl loss came against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 45 by a score of 31-25, via ESPN.com.

Among other quarterbacks, Roethlisberger’s career stacks up as one of the best. He finished his career ranked eighth in passing touchdowns (418), and fifth in passing yards (64,088), completions (5,440) and attempts (8,443). In terms of Steelers records, Roethlisberger is the franchise leader in QB wins, passing yards, passing TDs, completions, attempts, 300-yard passing games, game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks. Roethlisberger’s 165 wins are the second-most behind Tom Brady with New England for most QB wins in a career with one team, via NFL.com.

When Ben was selected by the Steelers in the 2004 draft, there were high hopes for him to come in and make an immediate impact as a franchise quarterback and add to Pittsburgh’s winning history. He did that and then some. The Steelers were a force to be reckoned with just about every autumn. Roethlisberger kept Pittsburgh as a contender in an era where Peyton Manning and Tom Brady were also playing out their great careers.

Now, it is on to a new era in Pittsburgh as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is retired and general manager Kevin Colbert is going to step down after the 2022 NFL Draft. Young pieces like Diontae Johnson and Minkah Fitzpatrick are bright spots for the team, along with veteran T.J. Watt who just broke the sack record earlier this season (22.5). Mike Tomlin has also expressed that quarterback Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph will battle it out for the starting job, “We won’t close any doors. We’re early in the process. We have Mason [Rudolph] and [Dwayne] Haskins already on the roster, and they’ll compete. We will explore other options,” Steelers owner Art Rooney II stated in an interview on Friday.

Roethlisberger also expressed his love and emotion for his team and family in the Twitter announcement. “To my wife, Ashley, our children Benjamin, Baylee and Bodie, you lift and inspire me and give my life purpose, I am 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 on 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,” via _BigBen7 on Twitter.

“To all my teammates and the endless friendships that 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 been a gift and I thank God for allowing me to play it, surrounding me with great people and protecting me through it to the end. With love and honor,” via _BigBen7 on Twitter.