Eli Manning Congratulates Ben Roethlisberger on NFL Retirement in Twitter Video

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 28, 2022

Former Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning addresses the crowd as his No. 10 jersey number is retired as part of the halftime jersey retirement ceremony at an NCAA college football game against LSU in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning congratulated Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller and fellow 2004 NFL draft classmate Ben Roethlisberger on his retirement from the NFL on Thursday.

New York Giants @Giants

To the graduating Draft Class of '04<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThankYou7?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThankYou7</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/EliManning?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EliManning</a> <a href="https://t.co/GUqFLTBXvD">pic.twitter.com/GUqFLTBXvD</a>

"Hey Ben, just wanted to congratulate you on retirement, pal. Eighteen years in one historic organization is a great task, so congratulations on that," Manning said.

"We've been tied together since our draft class in 2004, so it's an honor to have shared that draft class with you. It's an honor to have competed against you, and it's a honor to call you a friend now, man.

"All the best in retirement and enjoy."

The draft class of 2004 featured future stars such as Manning, Roethlisberger, ex-San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers and former Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald.

On the defensive side, Washington safety Sean Taylor and ex-Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders and Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall starred as well.

Manning and Roethlisberger both played their entire careers with one team, winning two Super Bowls apiece. Manning retired after the 2019 season.

They faced each other four times during the regular season, with Roethlisberger's Steelers winning three games.

The most notable matchup occurred when they were rookies, when the Steelers outlasted the Giants 33-30. That game marked Roethlisberger's first-ever 300-yard passing day and Manning's first-ever multi-touchdown performance.

Now Roethlisberger's career is officially over after 18 years with the Steelers. His resume includes six Pro Bowls, the 2004 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Big Ben also led the NFL in passing yards in 2014 and 2018.