Ben Roethlisberger confirms NFL retirement after 18 seasons, two Super Bowls

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Ben Roethlisberger, the great Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, has confirmed his retirement from the NFL after 18 seasons.

Thursday's announcement on Roethlisberger's official website's Twitter page had been expected at some point during the offseason.

The 39-year-old's comments around the Steelers' Wild Card Round defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs made clear his time with his only professional team was over and appeared to hint at the end of his career.

Reading a statement alongside his family in a social media video post, 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.

"I retire from football a truly grateful man."

Roethlisberger was a two-time champion in Pittsburgh, leading the Steelers to glory at Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII. They also made Super Bowl XLV, losing to the Green Bay Packers.

The 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Roethlisberger won the Steelers starting job in Week 3 of his rookie season and never looked back.

He made 247 QB starts, the fifth-most of all time, with all of those coming as a Steeler.

Only the same four players again – legends Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre – can top Roethlisberger for passing yards (64,088), although he ranks eighth for touchdown passes (418).

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