The Steelers shouldn’t pay a fortune for a new quarterback. They have one.
There’s no denying Ben Roethlisberger’s abilities aren’t what they used to be, especially as the Steelers offense struggled towards the tail end of last season. This offseason, Pittsburgh was faced with an unfamiliar decision — one they hadn’t been forced into for over a decade. What’s their next move at the quarterback position?
While the Steelers have flirted with younger options, including signing Dwayne Haskins, Roethlisberger has made it clear he wants to come back for at least one final season. That’ll come at a financial hit for the Rooney family, but Ben claims he’s willing to take on a restructured contract to avoid limiting this team’s potential. The Steelers can posture all they want, but come Week 1 of the 2021 season, Roethlisberger will be under center. And despite his age and deteriorating QB sense, it’s the right call.
The Matthew Stafford trade proves Pittsburgh shouldn’t mortgage their future right now
To acquire Stafford from Detroit, the Rams traded Jared Goff (and his monster contract), plus a 2021 third-round pick and first rounders in 2022 and 2023. That’s a ton, but it’s also the price tag for an above-average starter in a league built on the quarterback position. Considering Roethlisberger’s deal, any trade for Stafford to Pittsburgh would’ve been quite similar unless the Steelers could’ve convinced Big Ben to retire.
Given the Steelers’ needs on both sides of the ball, they’re better served either drafting Roethlisberger’s replacement, or making a trade of that caliber next year when the need is more pressing. A rebuild is definitely on the horizon for Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin, but Roethlisberger’s return pushes that bad at least a year.
The Steelers value their first-round draft picks more than any team in the NFL — it’s why they rarely trade them, minus the deal for Minkah Fitzpatrick two years ago. Building and developing homegrown talent will determine the success of any retooling in Pittsburgh. While it’s tempting to solve the QB conundrum in one swoop, the remaining holes on the roster would make it a moot point, and only lead to further mediocre play.
Sitting out the Stafford conversation was a good decision.