Multiple reports indicate that the 2021 NFL season is going to be the last for Ben Roethlisberger with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is currently playing on a one-year contract that expires at the end of the season, likely his last with the organization that he spent his entire career with. He spent 18 seasons with the Steelers and won two Super Bowls.
With the end of an era in Pittsburgh, the question now turns to who will be the quarterback to replace him. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins are unlikely to be their answers moving forward, so they will probably look to bring in a star quarterback from the outside.
The Steelers are a team that is built to win right now. They have a solid defense, a deep group of wide receivers and a young superstar running back in Najee Harris. It would appear that with an elite quarterback, they are instantly one of the favorites to make a run at the Super Bowl. Here are three potential quarterbacks that the Steelers could target for the 2022 NFL season.
Ben Roethlisberger replacements: What are the options for Pittsburgh Steelers?
#1 - Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has made it publicly known that he wants out of Green Bay. He threatened to sit out the 2021 NFL season if he wasn't traded, but ultimately he did end up playing. He will likely be looking to leave the Packers this offseason and there are rumors circling that he would like to play for head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers.
The three-time NFL MVP is still at the top of his game. He ranks second in the NFL in passer rating and third in QBR this season.
#2 - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson requested a trade from the Seattle Seahawks this past offseason. They have reportedly "settled their differences" this year, but that doesn't mean he won't again ask for a trade this coming offseason.
This has been a frustrating season for Wilson. The Seahawks have just a 3-8 record and he also missed time with a finger injury that required surgery. If he still has issues with the organization, this type of year probably won't help the situation. If he does request a trade again, and the Seahawks grant it, the Steelers are one of the teams that makes the most sense.
#3 - Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson has likely played his last game with the Houston Texans. He has demanded a trade and it looks like the Texans are willing to grant it. They shopped him around at the trade deadline and will likely do so again this offseason.
The Steelers need a quarterback for 2022 and Watson should be available as long as his legal situation is handled. He is both an instant upgrade as well as a long term solution. He is just 26 years old and led the NFL in passing in the 2019 season.