Giants legend Eli Manning congratulates Ben Roethlisberger on retirement

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On Thursday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement from the NFL, marking the end of an era for the 2004 draft class.

Big Ben was, of course, the final quarterback to retire out of the big three to come out of that draft class. The others being long-time San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and New York Giants great Eli Manning.

The former Giant and two-time Super Bowl champ took to Twitter to congratulate his fellow 2004 draftee Ben Roethlisberger on his career:

“Hey, Ben. Just wanted to congratulate you on retirement, pal. Eighteen years with one historic organization is a great task, so congratulations on that,” Manning said.

“You know, we’ve been tied together since our draft class in 2004, so it’s an honor to have shared that … with you. It’s an honor to have competed against you and it’s an honor to call you a friend now, man. All the best in retirement and enjoy.”

Roethlisberger, like Manning with the Giants, won two Super Bowls for the Steelers and certainly left his mark on the NFL. With such storied careers as Roethlisberger, Manning and Rivers all had, the debate will continue on which QB was the best out of the three.

Roethlisberger will likely make the Hall of Fame as his stats clearly stack up against most, let alone against the other quarterbacks in Steelers franchise history.

Had Big Blue failed to execute the draft-day trade with the then-San Diego Chargers, the Giants were rumored to be in favor of taking Big Ben over Rivers. And if former GM Ernie Accorsi was unable to come to an agreement with San Diego, the implications quite literally change football history.

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