Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger officially announces retirement after 18-year career

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Ben Roethlisberger, who has spent 18 years as quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers, officially announced his retirement on Thursday.

Roethlisberger, 39, made the announcement in a video posted on social media.

"The journey has been exhilarating, fueled by a spirit of competition," Roethlisberger said. "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."

Roethlisberger was shown in the video cleaning out his locker at Heinz Field for the last time and sitting at home with his wife, Ashley, and three young children.

As the 2021 season wore on, it became obvious that Roethlisberger would call it a career once the Steelers played their last game, even though he never explicitly said it. He was emotional following the Steelers' 42-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs during wild-card weekend, but didn't say he was done. It wasn't until Thursday that Roethlisberger made his retirement official.

Steelers owner and president Art Rooney II released a statement on Thursday afternoon, congratulating Roethlisberger on his retirement.

Ben Roethlisberger ranks among Steelers greats

Roethlisberger will go down as a Steelers legend. The Steelers took him with the 11th pick in the 2004 draft, and he would win the Offensive Rookie of the Year. In all, he took the Steelers to the playoffs 12 times, playing in three Super Bowls and winning two (following the 2005 and 2008 seasons).

The six-time Pro Bowler is ranked fifth all-time in passing yards (64,088) and completions (5,440) and eighth in touchdowns (418). He has 53 game-winning drives, second only to Peyton Manning (54), and ranks third all-time in fourth-quarter comebacks with 41.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 31: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers waves to the fans after the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 15-10 at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has announced his retirement after an 18-year career. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Big Ben gets congrats from the GOAT

At 39, Roethlisberger was the second-oldest quarterback in the NFL, behind none other than Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady. So it was appropriate on Thursday afternoon for the GOAT himself to chime in and offer Big Ben his best wishes in retirement.

Brady, of course, is 44 and played at an MVP level in 2021. But as he said, there's more than one way to have a long, successful career, and Roethlisberger definitely proved that.