By: Patrick Damp/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - When the Pittsburgh Steelers take the field in 2022, for the first time since 2004, someone other than Ben Roethlisberger will be QB1.
"The time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats, and continue to be all I can be for my wife and children," Roethlisberger said in a video he posted on Twitter on Thursday. "I retire from football a truly grateful man."
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After 18 seasons, two Super Bowl championships, and a third trip to the Super Bowl, the kid from Lima, Ohio, who first stood under center for the black and gold in 2004, has called it a career.
Roethlisberger was selected by the Steelers 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft, and while rumors swirled last season that it could be his last, Thursday's announcement made it official.
Prior to the Steelers' final home game of the season, Ben said that it likely would be his last at Heinz Field.
"I don't ever speak in definites or guarantees," he said then. "That's just not what I've ever done or who I am. But, you know, looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing to this could be it."
After that game, Roethlisberger took time after a dramatic victory over the Browns, to take a lap around Heinz Field, the stadium he called home for so long.
"Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life," he said.
Roethlisberger leaves the NFL with 418 touchdowns, 211 interceptions, a record of 178-91-1, and fifth in all-time passing yards with 64,088, behind only Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Brett Favre.
His 418 touchdowns put him eighth all-time and his 5,440 completions rank fifth.
With Ben now heading into retirement, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has now said that Ben would be eligible for the Hall of Fame in five years.
We will have more on the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger throughout the day and the rest of the offseason.
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