Updated: Jan 28, 2022
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger officially called it a career on Thursday morning. Roethlisberger announced his retirement via a video that was released from his official Twitter account at 10:01 a.m. Next stop for Roethlisberger will be Canton in 2027. In the meantime, Roethlisberger is fully focused on spending time with his wife and three kids.
“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.
“Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life. To Steelers Nation, the best fans in all of sports, thanks for accepting me and supporting me as your quarterback all these years.”
"We are forever grateful for all the success he has helped bring to the organization for the past 18 years," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement released by the team. "Ben will always be viewed as one of the all-time greats in our team history, and his determination, toughness and competitiveness will be remembered by everyone in the organization as well as Steeler Nation throughout the world."
In his 18 seasons as the Steelers quarterback, Roethlisberger won two Super Bowls and finished eighth all-time in touchdown passes (418), fifth all-time in completions (5,440), fifth all-time in passing yards (64,088) and ranked fifth all-time in wins, as he recorded a 165-81-1 record as a starter. He was also named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004 and was a six-time Pro Bowler.
Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 60,000+ yards and win at least two Super Bowls. Roethlisberger is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw over 500 yards in three games in the regular season. Roethlisberger's 18 seasons are the most by any player without ever playing for a losing team (sub-.500 win percentage) in NFL history.
Terry Bradshaw edged Roethlisberger in Super Bowl rings, 4-2, but Roethlisberger holds all the major franchise records for a quarterback by a wide margin. It's hard to suggest that Roethlisberger isn't the franchise's best quarterback of all-time.
Pro Football Reference posted some of Roethlisberger's advanced stats, and with numbers like that, it's hard to imagine Roethlisberger not being a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Roethlisberger finished tied for second in game-winning drives (53) and ranks third in fourth-quarter comebacks (41). Roethlisberger's ability to thrive in clutch moments truly defined his career.
In a video tweeted by the team, Bill Cowher praised Roethlisberger for his late game heroics and his toughness that matched the organization and city of Pittsburgh.
“From his rookie season, you knew that you always had a chance to win with Ben as your quarterback,” Cowher said. “He was at his best in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. He was the guy you could always count on to deliver when it mattered most.
"When I think about you, you identify and you represent everything a Pittsburgh Steeler is. You played with grit, determination and a degree of toughness. I congratulate you on a job well done and without a doubt, I will see you in Canton. Kudos."
Soon after Roethlisberger officially retired, the Steelers Twitter account posted nearly a 10 minute tribute of Roethlisberger and titled the post, "A career worthy of a Gold Jacket." The Steelers also posted a video of Roethlisberger's former teammates congratulating him on a Hall of Fame career.