The Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the quarterback market for the first time in 18 years.
Pittsburgh drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 and the 39-year-old quarterback is going to retire at some point this offseason.
Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins will be the top remaining quarterbacks on the roster, but neither are compelling options.
There are multiple directions Pittsburgh can venture into when it comes to its next signal caller. Currently, the Steelers have above $41 million in cap space, giving them the opportunity to trade for a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and if all those fail, Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr.
Regardless of who they land, the Steelers need to make an improvement at the quarterback position this offseason.
Steelers: Don’t go cheap at QB, please
The first route could be making a blockbuster trade for one of these top-tier quarterbacks. As stated, the Steelers have a comfortable cap space situation heading into the 2022 season.
The team is a quarterback away from becoming legit contenders. They possess a strong defense led by T.J. Watt, along with offensive weapons in Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris on rookie contracts with the possibility of re-signing JuJu Smith Schuster.
Having a reliable quarterback is monumental in the NFL. Without a quarterback, there is no chance a team can compete for a championship, no matter how good the rest of the roster is. The Steelers are a perfect example of this.
Another option the Steelers could look into is trading for a quarterback like Garoppolo and drafting an heir-apparent if all else fails. Garoppolo has shown he can win games in the NFL with a 34-15 record in 49 starts. However, the concern is he only has 49 career starts as a 30-year-old quarterback and at times, he has shown that he cannot be entirely trusted.
Nonetheless, he is the perfect quarterback to have a rookie sit behind. Garoppolo has been a great mentor for Trey Lance this season, and you can win games with him. Let’s say the Steelers draft Malik Willis with their first-round pick. Willis is extremely raw but could offer the most upside in the draft from a quarterback perspective.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a division with Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson, and they cannot fall too far behind in the quarterback department within the division. Burrow and Jackson have shown that they are franchise quarterbacks and will be dominating this division for years to come.
However, the Steelers do have an argument for having the best roster in the AFC North. Quarterback is the major question mark for Pittsburgh, and it has to be addressed if the team wants to keep up with the Bengals and Ravens.
The Steelers cannot settle at the quarterback position, period.