Antonio Brown Sends Ben Roethlisberger a Bold Message After the Steelers Legend Retires From the NFL

Ben Roethlisberger has officially retired from the NFL after a successful 18-year career. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback played with numerous great players, including Antonio Brown. The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver left Pittsburgh on uneasy terms, but he never lost respect for Big Ben.

Brown recently congratulated the future Hall of Famer with a bold message about their time playing together.

Antonio Brown gives nod to Ben Roethlisberger (and himself)

Many NFL players dished out congratulatory messages to Ben Roethlisberger after the Pittsburgh Steelers great announced his retirement via Twitter.

Tom Brady, Bill Cowher, and many other football legends gave Big Ben kind words to celebrate the end of his impressive career in Steel City.

Roethlisberger finished with 64,085 passing yards, 418 touchdowns, and 211 interceptions across his 18 seasons. He posted a 165-81-1 career record as the Steelers’ starting quarterback.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Antonio Brown also took a minute to honor the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback with a tweet of his own.

“Best tandem in the NFL,” said Brown. “Congrats Legend.”

The two players spent nine years together in Pittsburgh and quickly became one of the most dangerous quarterback-wide receiver tandems in the NFL.

AB and Big Ben had a great run together in Pittsburgh

Steelers teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown embrace each other before a game
Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers gives Antonio Brown a handshake before game against the Jacksonville Jaguars | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It’s unclear if Antonio Brown was calling him and Ben Roethlisberger the best tandem when they played together or all time. However, the two players undoubtedly formed one of the most productive duos of the modern era.

The Steelers selected Brown in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. It’s safe to say he well-exceeded expectations in his career. Roethlisberger had already been in the league for six seasons, so the Central Michigan product got the opportunity to begin his tenure with an established signal-caller.

AB and Big Ben achieved greatness together in Pittsburgh. Brown recorded 837 receptions, 11,207 receiving yards, and 74 touchdowns in nine seasons with the Steelers (2010-2018). He led the NFL in receptions twice, receiving yards twice, and touchdowns once while catching passes from Roethlisberger.

While the tandem never won a championship together, it did reach Super Bowl XLV, where the Steelers fell short to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Internal drama cut Brown’s time with Roethlisberger short, but he was the most prolific pass-catcher the quarterback ever played with.

Could Brown’s career have been different if things worked out with the Steelers?

Antonio Brown is one of the greatest wide receivers in Pittsburgh Steelers history and one of the most talented in the modern era of the NFL. He had a great run in Pittsburgh, but he fell out of favor with the organization during the tail end of his tenure.

Things started to spiral for the four-time All-Pro selection in the 2018 season. He was highly productive on the field, but issues were brewing off it. Brown had rifts with Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster, among others. As a result of the deteriorating relationship, the Steelers traded him to the Oakland Raiders.

AB never played a single down for the Raiders, as turmoil ensued from the moment he joined the team. After his release, Brown later signed with the New England Patriots. However, his time there was also short-lived. He appeared in just one game before getting released.

Some off-field issues put Brown’s career in jeopardy before Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave him new life. He won a Super Bowl in 2020. However, his 2021 campaign got cut short as he abruptly left in the middle of a game.

Antonio Brown was once arguably the best receiver in football. He never achieved the same level of success as he did with the Steelers. According to AB’s ESPN interview, a lack of respect damaged his relationship with the organization.

Brown could’ve been dominant for the following few seasons if the two sides found a way to work things out. Unfortunately, Ben Roethlisberger ended his career without playing with a No. 1 receiver again.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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