He was emotional during his final home game at Heinz Field and got a send-off from the crowd that felt like a final goodbye.
Yet there was still some speculation he could return and play elsewhere in 2022.
Would he take the Philip Rivers route and play one year with a new team?
The quarterback known as Big Ben shut down the rumors Thursday morning with a video announcing his retirement.
"I don't know how to put into words what the game of football has meant to me."
Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement with this video:
— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2022
He thanks the fans in Pittsburgh for accepting him from the start and supporting him ever since he showed up in 2004.
So it is now official.
The Steelers need a new quarterback for the first time in nearly two decades.
Roethlisberger Is Officially Retired
This marks the end of a historic era for the Steelers.
The franchise has not even had a losing record since Roethlisberger showed up as the No. 11 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.
He went 13-0 as the starter during his rookie year and was a Super Bowl champion one year later.
He won a second during the 2008 season to reach football immortality early in his career.
Roethlisberger was a star on the field, but one cannot discuss his career without mentioning the controversy that surrounds his name.
He was hit with two separate sexual assault allegations at the start of his career and was even suspended by the NFL as a result in 2010.
Somehow, this all faded away and his career continued without any interruption.
His legacy carries such notes, but it will likely not prevent him from being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Roethlisberger has his two titles, made six Pro Bowls, and ranks fifth all-time in passing yards.
Ben Roethlisberger’s career:
🟡2X Super Bowl champion
⚫️6X Pro Bowler
🟡Rookie of the Year, led team to most wins ever by a rookie
⚫️Only player ever with 500+ passing yards in 4 games
🟡Steelers never had a losing record during his tenure
⚫️5th-most passing yards ever (64,088)
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 27, 2022
He can start planning his trip to Canton now.NEXT: Mason Rudolph Has Not Done Enough To Be A Starter