Steelers' Roethlisberger Retires After 18 Seasons

'Big Ben' leaving the game at 39
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2022 10:04 AM CST
Ben Roethlisberger Retires After 18 Years in NFL
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger takes the field for a playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 16. The Steelers lost in Roethlisberger's final game.   (AP Photos/Reed Hoffmann)

(Newser) – Big Ben is out. Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Thursday that he's retiring after 18 seasons, reports CNN. "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," the 39-year-old said in a tweeted video. "I retire from football a truly grateful man." The much-anticipated decision came less than two weeks after Pittsburgh's lopsided loss to Kansas City in the first round of the postseason, the 12th time in Roethlisberger's career the Steelers reached the playoffs, per the AP.

The Steelers never endured a losing season during Roethlisberger's tenure and captured Super Bowls 40 and 46—the latter coming on a now-iconic touchdown pass over the outstretched hands of three Arizona defenders to Santonio Holmes in the back corner of the end zone. “Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life,” said Roethlisberger in his video. He sits fifth all time in yards passing (64,088) and completions (5,440), and eighth in touchdowns (418), notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Roethlisberger's personal journey, unlike his professional one, was more complicated. He wasn't wearing a helmet when he broke his jaw and his nose in a motorcycle crash in 2006 shortly after becoming the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl. He was twice accused of sexual assault, once in 2009 and again in 2010. A civil case filed against him stemming from an alleged incident at Lake Tahoe in 2009 was settled out of court. A woman in Georgia alleged he assaulted her at a bar in March 2010, but prosecutors didn't formally charge him. The NFL suspended him for the start of the 2010 season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He returned to lead the Steelers to the Super Bowl, a loss to Green Bay. (Read more Ben Roethlisberger stories.)

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