It’s been a month of surprising retirements around the NFL following the 2020 regular season. That now includes one of the best centers in modern league history, Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pouncey his informed his teammates that he plans to retire after an accomplished 11-year career with the organization.
A first-round pick of the Steelers back in 2010, Pouncey earned nine trips to the Pro Bowl during his time with Pittsburgh. That includes six consecutive Pro Bowl campaigns to finish up what has to be considered a Hall of Fame-worthy career for the former Florida Gators star.
From a Steelers perspective, this impending retirement will save the team a cool $8 million against the cap in 2021. Given that Pittsburgh is currently $28.3 million over the estimated salary cap, that’s no small thing.
The team is going to have to trim the fat somewhere now that Ben Roethlisberger decided to come back for another season. Saving $8 million by Maurkice Pouncey retiring will help in this regard.
With that said, it’s also going to be a pretty huge loss for Big Ben and Co. After all, Pouncey started all 134 games in which he appeared during his time with Pittsburgh.
Former undrafted free agent J.C. Hassenauer is the only other center on the Steelers’ roster. He’s slated to become an exclusive-rights free agent. Needless to say, Pittsburgh will be in the market for an upgrade either in free agency or during the 2021 NFL Draft.