PITTSBURGH — Twin centers Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Pouncey have retired from the NFL, Ramon Foster, a former teammate of Maurkice, declared on Twitter.
“It is my honour my brothers from another asked me to announce another stage in their lifetime.
Maurkice was drafted No. 18 overall from the Pittsburgh Steelers at the 2010 draft, while Mike went 15th total to the Miami Dolphins the following calendar year. The two were instantly full-time newcomers for their own teams, primarily at center, however Mike spent a year at right guard in Miami.
“We began this journey at 6 years old and today at 31 we’ll close this chapter of our lives as I announce my retirement in the @nfl and walk away in the match,” Mike Pouncey said in a statement provided by Foster.
While Maurkice played 11 seasons with the Steelers, Mike spent 10 seasons between the Dolphins and Chargers after their school careers at Florida. Mike’s final season ended in September, when he went on injured reserve with season-ending stylish operation. A year earlier, the four-time Pro Bowler’s season ended early with a neck injury suffered in early October.
Maurkice Pouncey and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are close friends and often pledged to perform provided that the other. Each includes a contract which runs through the 2021 year, though Roethlisberger hasn’t declared his intentions for the upcoming season. With his retirement, Pouncey leaves $6.475 million in dead cap, but he also saves the team $8 million in cap space.
The emotional moments Maurkice Pouncey spent Roethlisberger on the bench after the Steelers’ wild-card playoff reduction Jan. 10 ended up being his last in the NFL.
“I love that man,” Roethlisberger said after the season-ending loss. “He is one of the greatest competitors and teammates I’ve ever needed. It has been so much pleasure to share a soccer field with him. I hate it ended the way it did. I just wanted to apologize to him that I wished to win it for him.”
Maurkice Pouncey, a nine-time Pro Bowler, had been telling teammates and people close to him he was seriously considering retirement since the wild-card reduction, sources told ESPN.
“I’ll always love the game of soccer & always will be the ultimate competition in life @nfl @steelers! I’m jus not in love with all the forfeit football carries on my life, my lovely daughters Jayda, Marley & my loved ones!”
A fiercely loyal teammate, Maurkice Pouncey also missed two games in 2019 after being suspended for his part in the brawl with the Cleveland Browns since he defended Mason Rudolph contrary to Myles Garrett.
“You have a feel for people,” Foster, a former offensive lineman, said a year ago. “You know if somebody’s not for you. His thing is, if you are one of his teammates, he enjoys and respects the heck out of you”
Pouncey’s departure produces a leadership void on the Steelers’ offense. The two dimensional first-team All-Pro centre was a part of the team that gave a fiery speech at halftime of the Steelers’ Week 16 win against the Indianapolis Colts that aided the second-half turnaround.
“As I write this farewell address I cry & laugh that twin boys out of Lakeland FL that grew up in poverty made it this way in life both living out NFL fantasies,” Maurkice wrote.