On Thursday morning, longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially announced his retirement from the NFL.
He spent 18 seasons with the Steelers, leading the franchise to two Super Bowl victories and three appearances. Roethlisberger is one of the best players in franchise history.
After learning of Ben's retirement, Rooney released a touching tribute for Roethlisberger. "Ben was an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 2004 in the first round," he said in a statement.
"He helped us win two Super Bowls during his career, and we are forever grateful for all the success he has helped bring to the organization the past 18 years. Ben will always be viewed as one of the all-time greats in our team history, and his determination, toughness and competitiveness will be remembered by everyone in the organization as well as Steeler Nation throughout the world. I wish he and Ashley and their children all the best in his retirement."
In his retirement announcement, Roethlisberger had a message for his former teammates, coaches and the fans.
"To all my teammates and endless friendships I have gained, I appreciate you and our shared commitment to wearing the black and gold with pride and dignity," Roethlisberger said. "Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life.
"To Steelers Nation, the best fans in all of sports, thank you for accepting me as your quarterback over the years. Football has been a gift, and I thank God for allowing me to play it. Surrounding me with great people and protecting me through the end, with love and honor."
Big Ben hasn't announced what's next for him. However, he'll certainly end up in one place - Canton.