Updated: Feb 15
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Last month there was a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Maurkice Pouncey told teammates that he was retiring. Well, today it became official. According to Dale Lolley and former Steeler Ramon Foster of DKPittsburghSports, Pouncey and his brother Mike have both retired.
With Pouncey retiring, the Steelers will save $8 million in cap space. The Steelers were around $30 million over the cap prior to Pouncey announcing his retirement, so every little bit helps. The Steelers have $6,475,000 million in dead cap space with Pouncey retiring.
Pouncey has started 134 of 134 regular-season games and eight playoff games in his 11-year career with the Steelers. He is also a nine-time Pro Bowler and was named first-team All-Pro three times. The two times that he didn't make the Pro Bowl in his career was when he suffered season-ending injuries -- in 2013 where he started just one game before tearing his ACL and MCL when David DeCastro accidentally dove into his right leg when attempting a cut block on Titans' defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill, and in 2015 when he suffered a broken fibula in a preseason game when Packers' safety HaHa Clinton-Dix rolled onto the back of Pouncey's ankle.
Pouncey was also named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team. He certainly has a case at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but it's not easy to make the HOF as a center. Just seven centers have been elected in Canton in the modern era.
It will be interesting to see what Ben Roethlisberger does now with Pouncey deciding to hang it up. Roethlisberger will turn 39 in March and has one year left on his contract. The two have always said publicly that they would retire at the same time when once decides to call it a career. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger has not met with ownership yet to discuss lowering his cap hit of $41.25 million. Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of The Athletic last month that he doesn't care how much he makes this year and just wants to whatever he can to help the team out.
With Vance McDonald and now Pouncey retiring, along with Randy Fichtner gone and having a new offensive coordinator in Matt Canada, and the likelihood of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Alejandro Villanueva leaving via free agency, Roethlisberger's decision to coming back could change.
Maurkice spent his entire career with the Steelers after being drafted 18th overall by the team in 2010. Mike was selected 15th overall by the Dolphins in the 2011 draft and finished his career with the Los Angeles Chargers. Both brothers played on the offensive line together at Florida and at Lakeland High School, and now the twin brothers are retiring from the NFL together.