Even assuming Ben Roethlisberger decides to play another year in 2021, this era of Steelers football is undeniably coming to an end. Long-time center Maurkice Pouncey has told teammates he’s likely retiring, sources told Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).
Dulac adds that barring a change of heart the official decision could come soon. It seemed like this was a strong possibility, especially after Roethlisberger’s actions after their playoff loss to Cleveland seemed to indicate he knew it would be his last game with Pouncey. Assuming nothing changes, it’ll wrap up a truly legendary career in Pittsburgh. Pouncey was the 18th overall pick back in 2010, and has spent his entire decorated career with the team.
He earned a Pro Bowl berth and second-team All-Pro selection as a rookie, and added plenty of other accolades over the next decade. All told, he’ll hang up his cleats having made nine Pro Bowls and five All-Pro teams in 11 seasons. The only two years he didn’t make the Pro Bowl were when he only played one game in 2013 and missed the entire season in 2015.
Outside of those two injury-riddled campaigns he’s been pretty durable, starting at least 13 games in each of the other nine years. Pittsburgh’s O-line as a whole regressed this year, as the once dominant unit is getting up there in age.
It’s the second big retirement of the day after news of Greg Olsen calling it a wrap broke earlier Sunday. All of us here at PFR wish the Florida product all the best with whatever comes next.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.