Longtime Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster announces his NFL retirement

Ramon Foster came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2009. Over a decade later, Foster, a full-time starter on Pittsburgh’s offensive line since 2011, announced his retirement on Monday via his Instagram account, two days before the start of the league’s new year. Instead of becoming a potential salary cap casualty in the coming days (the Steelers are trying to free up cap space after placing the franchise tag on Bud Dupree on Monday), Foster chose to call it a career, having spent his entire 11-year career with the Steelers. 

“When the time comes, you just know and now is a time for me to take a bow,” Foster wrote on Monday. “I’ve had a long, fun and life changing career. Who would have ever thought an undrafted kid out of the University of Tennessee would make it in the NFL for 11 years. I’ve made some friends for a lifetime, had some moments that I’ll never forget and seen some things I never thought I would become of this game.” 

After starting in four games as a rookie, Foster started in half of Pittsburgh’s games in 2010 while helping the Steelers win their third AFC title in a six-year span. Foster became a full-time starter in the following season, helping Pittsburgh win 12 regular season games. 

Foster remained the team’s starting left guard for the remainder of the decade, helping the Steelers win three AFC North titles in a four-year span from 2014-17. During that span, the Steelers qualified for the playoffs each season that included an appearance in the AFC Championship Game in 2016. With Foster in the fold, the Steelers’ offense was perennially one of the league’s best units. Foster’s blocking helped Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell blossom into the league’s most dangerous QB/WR/RB trio in the NFL, with Big Ben, Brown and Bell leading the league in numerous categories during their time together in Pittsburgh. 

In 2018, Foster helped the Steelers’ offense set a franchise record with 53 touchdowns. And last season, despite the loss of Roethlisberger two weeks into the season, Foster and the rest of the Steelers’ offensive line helped Pittsburgh’s offense do just enough to help the team go on a 7-1 tear during the season while clinching the team’s 16th consecutive non-losing season. 

Foster, one of two members of the Steelers that was still remaining from Pittsburgh’s most recent Super Bowl team, also served as the team’s NFLPA representative. With Foster’s help, the league’s new CBA was approved in a majority vote by NFL players on Sunday. 

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