Two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger has retired from the NFL.
The fullback, who spent his entire 18-season career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, confirmed the news in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday.
“The trip was exciting, fueled by a spirit of competition,” Roethlisberger said. “Yet the time has come to clean my closet, hang up my clothes and continue to be everything I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football as a sincere grateful man. ”
The 39-year-old’s retirement comes as no surprise and he has almost confirmed in recent weeks that the Steelers’ playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month would be his last game.
At 6ft 5in and 240lbs, it was difficult to pick up Roethlisberger for opposing rushers, and he was often able to extend games until he could find open receivers with his powerful arm. He won Super Bowls XL and XLIII with the Steelers and was named to the Pro Bowl on six occasions. He is almost certain to make the Hall of Fame and ends his career with the fifth most passing yards (64,088) in NFL history.
“Ben has always been a fighter,” teammate Cam Heyward said. “We always gave a chance. He fought a lot. He was rewarded with two Super Bowls, but we needed every bit of Ben Roethlisberger in every game he played. You can not just repeat it. ”
Although he was brilliant on the field, his early career in 2009 and 2010 was marred by separate allegations of sexual assault. A civil lawsuit filed against him following an alleged incident at Lake Tahoe in 2009 has been settled out of court. A woman in Georgia has claimed he assaulted her at a bar in March 2010, but prosecutors have not formally charged him.
This led to a suspension under the NFL’s personal behavior policy for the start of the 2010 season, which ended with Roethlisberger leading the Steelers to the Super Bowl for a third time, a loss to the Green Bay Packers .
Remarkably, the Steelers have never experienced a losing season like any of Roethlisberger’s nearly two decades below center.