Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, the team’s first round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Florida, is retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL. His brother Mike Pouncey, who was drafted just one year later by the Miami Dolphins, is also retiring. They each released statements on Friday via former Steelers guard Ramon Foster.
Maurkice Pouncey immediately became the Steelers starter after being selected 18th overall by the team in the 2010 NFL Draft. He went on to play and start in 134 regular season games during his NFL career. Pouncey missed all but one game in 2013 after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the team’s regular season opener. He also missed the entire 2015 season because of a leg injury he had suffered during the preseason. During the playoffs of his 2010 rookie season, Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain that kept him from appearing in the team’s Super Bowl loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Pouncey was scheduled to earn $8 million in 2021, the final year of his current contract. Him retiring will clear $7.34 million in 2021 salary cap space after top 51 roster displacement takes place. The Steelers will now carry a dead money charge on Pouncey of $6.475 million in 2021.
Pouncey’s retirement leaves the Steelers with a huge hole at the center position. Last season, J.C. Hassenauer, a former undrafted free agent out of Alabama started in place of Pouncey when he missed games due to COVID-19.
Pouncey was a nine-time Pro Bowler during his career and twice voted first-team All-Pro.
As for Mike Pouncey, Maurkice’s twin brother, he played and started 114 total regular season games between the Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers after being selected 15th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Florida by the former. His last season in the NFL was 2019 due to neck issues.