Packers, Seahawks Headline ‘Epic QB Carousel’ Scenario for Ben Roethlisberger in 2022

Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers

Getty Ben Roethlisberger waves to fans.

The 2021 NFL season saw an eye-popping number of quarterbacks change teams. Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold were just a handful of signal-callers who found new homes in the offseason.

Well, hold on tight because Jeff Howe of The Athletic says that was nothing compared to the epic quarterback carousel that could go-’round in 2022.

Howe notes that big names like Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan could be on the move in the offseason. Rodgers isn’t as much of a surprise — his relationship with Green Bay has been fractured for some time now.

Ben Roethlisberger is another name Howe drops as potentially leaving his respective franchise — but not via retirement as one might guess. Howe writes that, should the Steelers opt to move on from Roethlisberger, he could land elsewhere.

Roethlisberger, who turns 40 in March, could retire and remove himself from this list. But if he’s got the itch to play and the Steelers make the hard decision to part ways with the franchise icon, Roethlisberger could help a ready-made contender like the Saints or work as a bridge quarterback in Green Bay or Seattle if either team trades their star signal-caller.

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Pittsburgh could very well want a fresh start next season and the two parties could amicably part ways. But if Roethlisberger can’t help the Steelers, I’m not sure he could help the Saints, Packers or Seahawks either.

Roethlisberger Holds the Cards

From the sounds of it, though, the Steelers won’t show Roethlisberger the door. He’ll have to walk to it himself.

Fox Sports Jay Glazer, who has a well-known close relationship with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, said in a November 17 interview on “The Pat McAfee Show” that Roethlisberger’s future in Pittsburgh is up to Roethlisberger.

“It’s up to Ben, like it was up to Drew Brees with the Saints, too,” Glazer said. “[The Steelers are] not going to push him out. As long as he wants to go, he’s going to just keep going.”

Though Roethlisberger is no longer among the top quarterbacks in the NFL, he still gives the Steelers the best chance at winning a title. They are 5-3 under his lead — better than many predicted they would be — and, according to Pro Football Reference, has a quarterback rating of 90-plus in four games this season. Roethlisberger has also not thrown a pick in his last four outings.

Beyond Ben

Though it’s uncomfortable how long they’ve held onto the aging Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers aren’t blind. They know they cannot continue to ignore their franchise’s future need for a star quarterback. Owner Art Rooney II, general manager Kevin Colbert and Tomlin will want to have a veteran — preferably Roethlisberger since he knows the system — around to break in the eventual heir.

If Roethlisberger up and retires in the offseason, Pittsburgh will need a plug-and-play option at quarterback. Per Spotrac, 2022 free agents include Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater and Cam Newton.

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