Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has retired from the NFL after 11 seasons along side his twin brother, Los Angeles Chargers center Mike Pouncey, the brothers announced through Maurkice Pouncey’s former Steelers teammate Ramon Foster on Friday.
“I’ll always love the game of football & always will be the ultimate competitor in life,” Pouncey wrote in a statement shared by Foster. “I’m jus not in love with the sacrifice football carries on my life, my beautiful daughters Jayda, Marley & my family.”
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
Maurkice Pouncey, 31, just finished his 11th season in the NFL, all of which have been with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the team selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Florida. He started all 134 games he played for the Steelers over his career, as he was a day-one starter at center as a rookie in the 2010 season, after which Pouncey appeared in Super Bowl XLV.
Pouncey made the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in 2020 and has also been a five-time Associated Press All-Pro, with first-team honors in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He was also a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team, largely giving him Hall of Fame credentials.
The Steelers have had historically low turnover at the center position, with Pouncey following in the footsteps of Jeff Hartings, Dermontti Dawson, Mike Webster and Ray Mansfield as longtime starters dating back to 1963. Dawson and Webster are Hall of Famers.
Pouncey is a Lakeland, Florida native and won a BCS National Championship with the Gators in 2009. Individually, he won the Rimington Trophy and was a consensus first-team All-American.
“As I write this farewell speech I cry & I laugh that twin boys from Lakeland FL that grew up in poverty made it this far in life both living out NFL dreams,” Pouncey wrote. “I can honestly say faith & the work ethic our parents Lisa & Robert Webster instilled in their kids (Mike, Maurkice, Talisha & Tierra.) We love you mom & dad!”
Pouncey’s retirement will leave a significant hole on the Steelers’ offensive line for 2021. The only other center on the team’s roster is former undrafted free agent J.C. Hassenauer, who made his first start in place of Pouncey this past season. His departure will save the team approximately $8 million in salary cap space for 2021, but leaves a dead salary cap hit of $6.475 million.