Ben Roethlisberger announces retirement from NFL after 18 seasons


Roethlisberger says goodbye to Heinz Field one last time after a 26-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns

Anshu Yadagiri, Staff Writer

It is now official: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback has announced his retirement via his twitter page ( In a video posted on his account, Roethlisberger said, “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.” After much of the league expecting the quarterback to retire after the steelers season, Roethlisberger confirms it himself. The 6’5 future Hall of Famer finishes his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers after 18 years, marking the longest time any quarterback has spent with a single franchise for their entire career.


Roethlisberger played his last home game on the night of January 3rd vs the Cleveland Browns. Roethlisberger threw the pigskin 46 times completing 24 passes for 123 yards, adding on a touchdown and an interception. It was clear the Steelers were letting Ben sling it in his last game at Heinz Field, as typically the Steelers put heavy emphasis on the run game. Rookie running back Najee Harris had a huge game that night, rushing 28 times for 188 yards and a score. After the game, Roethlisberger took a final lap around Heinz Field, greeting fans and taking it all in one last time. In an interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salter after the game, he was asked “how do you leave this place?” Ben answered “I don’t know. With a win.”


Roethlisberger came into the league at the age of 22, drafted 11th overall in the 2004 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 2004 draft had 2 other future star quarterbacks: Philip Rivers and Eli Manning. Both of those quarterbacks have also retired in recent years, and are also looking to make the Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, Big Ben has thrown for 64,000 yards, 418 touchdowns with a 64.4% completion percentage. The great quarterback won Pittsburgh two Superbowls, and has brought them to the playoffs 12 out of his 18 seasons.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sits on bench during his final moments at Heinz Field

For Pittsburgh, they are going to have to make many crucial decisions this offseason. Reflecting on the 2021 season, it seems clear that the steelers have many positions to improve upon. With the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL draft, Pittsburgh’s front office will have to evaluate the team’s future and decide what position they are in most need of. Along with the draft, free agency will be key for the Steelers, as unlike last year, they have one of the highest cap spaces in the league.


As for the quarterback position, it could be anyone at this point for Pittsburgh. Backing up Ben this past season was Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, who have not shows anything special up to this point. The steelers could trade for or sign a quarterback in free agency. There has been speculation and many rumors that Aaron Rodgers could potentially be the next Steelers quarterback, but most of this has been exactly what it’s called: speculation.


Whoever the next quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers may be, it will be difficult to try and replicate what Ben Roethlisberger did for the franchise, and will no doubt prove to be hard in finding the next quarterback for the steelers who is as good as Big Ben Roethlisberger.