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Longtime offensive linemen Maurkice and Mike Pouncey retire from NFL

The Pouncey Twins are retiring together.

Longtime NFL centers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey are riding off into the sunset. The brothers allowed Ramon Foster -- a teammate of Maurkice for 10 years -- to announce their decision.

Maurkice spent his entire 11-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers after being drafted No. 18 overall in the 2010 Draft. One of the best centers in the NFL in his decade, he earned nine Pro Bowl bids, including 2020, and two first-team All-Pro selections.

"I'll always love the game of football & always will be the ultimate competitor in life @nfl @steelers!" Maurkice wrote in his retirement notice, where he thanked a plethora of teammates, coaches, and the Rooney Family. "Big Ben my Brother for life we ride together we die together bad boys for life! ...

"As I write this farewell speech I cry and laugh that twin boys from Lakeland, FL, that grew up in poverty made it this far in life both living out NFL dreams..."

Maurkice's retirement leaves a massive hole in front of Ben Roethlisberger along the Steelers' offensive line.

"I want to thank Maurkice for his outstanding efforts both on and off the field over the past 11 years," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "He was an amazing teammate and leader that so may looked up to throughout his playing career. Congratultions on your retirement, Maurkice. I wish you and your family much success."

Mike Pouncey entered the NFL a year after his twin brother, selected 15th overall in the 2011 draft by the Miami Dolphins. After seven seasons with the Dolphins, Mike spent the past three years in L.A. with the Chargers. He earned five Pro Bowl bids in nine years. Injuries derailed the end of his career. Mike played just five games in 2019 and missed the entire 2020 season due to a hip injury.

"We began this journey at 6 years old and now at 31 we will close this chapter of our lives as I announce my retirement from the NFL and walk away from the game," Mike wrote. "I am thankful for everything FOOTBALL has taught me and everywhere it has taken me! Dream big kids, because they do come true, not because you dreamt 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!"

The brothers were among the best centers in the NFL in their primes. In a league always in search of good offensive linemen, their retirements will be felt, particularly in Pittsburgh.

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