Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Pouncey, both starting centers in the NFL, are retiring after a decade in the league.
Ramon Foster, a former teammate of Maurkice with the Pittsburgh Steelers, made the announcement on behalf of the twin brothers on Twitter. They each released lengthy statements on their time in the league and calling it a career.
"We began this journey at 6 years old and now at 31 we will close this chapter of our lives," Mike Pouncey, most recently with the Los Angeles Chargers, wrote in a statement released by Foster.
Maurkice spent all 11 seasons with the Steelers and was named to nine Pro Bowls. Mike played for 10 seasons with both the Miami Dolphins and the Chargers. They attended Florida together.
It’s my honor that my brothers from another asked me to announce the next stage in their life. After over a decade @MaurkicePouncey and Mike Pouncey are RETIRING from the @nfl 🤝. Below are their memos to thank those involved in their careers. #Steeler #chargers #Miami #NFL pic.twitter.com/v9IALOrZaX
— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) February 12, 2021
Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey retires
The Steelers drafted Maurkice No. 18 overall in the 2010 draft and made him the starting center his rookie season. They won four division titles during his career and went as far as the AFC championship in the 2016 season. He's a two-time first-team All-Pro and a cornerstone of the offensive line and team's leadership.
"I'll always love the game of football & always will be the ultimate competitor in life," Maurkice wrote in the memo provided by Foster. "I'm just not in love with the sacrifice football carries on my life, my beautiful daughters Jayda, Marley and & my family."
Maurkice thanked the Steelers' Rooney family and others involved in the organization through the memo provided by Foster, who played for Pittsburgh from 2009 to 2019. Head coach Mike Tomlin released a statement after the announcement:
Pouncey to Roethlisberger: 'We ride together'
He also thanked and honored quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, with whom he is close friends. They have often vowed to play as long as the other and both of their contracts run out after the 2021 season.
"Big Ben my Brother for life we ride together we die together bad boys for life," Maurkice wrote with a yellow heart emoji.
They had an emotional moment after the upset loss to the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the playoffs last month. The microphones on the bench caught Roethlisberger apologizing to his friend for the early exit.
“I’m sorry, brother. You’re the only reason I wanted to do this, man,” a tearful Roethlisberger told Pouncey on the sideline after the game, via NFL Films. “Oh I feel worse for you than me. I hate it, man.”
He honored Pouncey on Twitter after the announcement.
I don't have the words...I love you and thank you. -- Ben. pic.twitter.com/QcUl132mMd
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) February 12, 2021
The quarterback's retirement plans have been a constant offseason question for a few years now. The 38-year-old was drafted by Pittsburgh in 2004 at No. 11 overall.
Mike Pouncey's final season cut short
Mike Pouncey was taken No. 15 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 NFL draft and he immediately took the starting center job. He stayed with Miami through the 2017, playing at right guard in 2014.
"I am thankful for everything football has taught me and everywhere it has taken me!" Mike wrote. "Dream big kids because they do come true — not because you dream it and think it's just going to happen but because you work as hard as you can towards it and make it happen. Never be afraid to make a mistake; learn from them and fix it."
He spent the past three seasons with the Chargers, but his final season ended early when he needed hip surgery in September. His 2019 season also ended early with a neck injury he suffered in October after five games.
Pouncey is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and also noted the sacrifices he's made to play. He thanked the organizations as well as his family and brother.
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