After 18 seasons in the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially announced his retirement.
The news comes as Roethlisberger hinted at stepping away from professional football during recent post-game press conferences. On Thursday, “Big Ben” confirmed on Twitter that his career has indeed come to an end.
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) January 27, 2022
“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,” he said in a video. “Well, I know with confidence I have given my all to the game, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all it has given me.”
“The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships and fueled by a spirit of competition,” he continued. “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.”
In closing, Roethlisberger thanked God, his wife, and his children for their support throughout his career.
“First and foremost, I need to thank the Lord for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me. 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.”
“Football has been a gift, and I thank God for allowing me to play it, surrounding me with great people, and protecting me through to the end,” he concluded.
Roethlisberger’s last game took place last Sunday (Jan.16) when the Steelers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-21 in the AFC’s wild-card round. During a post-game press conference, he implied that he was not returning next season.
“It’s tough,” he told reporters at the time. “But I’m proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. It’s just been truly a blessing, and I’m so thankful to Him for the opportunity that He’s given me.”
Roethlisberger, 39, also shared that he wanted to focus more on his family and “expand God’s Kingdom” as part of the next chapter in his life.
In 2004, Roethlisberger was drafted by the Steelers and was named Rookie of The Year after starting in and winning 13 games that season. The now-former quarterback also led the team to two Superbowl victories in the 2005 and 2008 seasons.
The Steelers managed to make it to a third Superbowl in 2010 but failed to clinch a victory. Nevertheless, Roethlisberger advanced his team to the playoffs 12 times.
According to Sports Spectrum, Roethlisberger ends his career as one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation as he ranks 5th all-time in NFL history with his passing yards (64,088) and completions (5,440). Meanwhile, he ranks 8th passing touchdowns (418). Each mark is No. 1 in Steelers history.
Overall, Roethlisberger walks away from the NFL with a 165-81-1 record.
“For everything you’ve done for the organization, the city, and for the game. #ThankYou7,” the Pittsburgh Steelers tweeted.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 27, 2022
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Patrick Smith/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.