Steelers Could ‘Make a Play’ for Ex-Pro Bowl QBs in Offseason, Says Insider

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers

Getty The Steelers could make a play for a veteran QB to replace Ben Roethlisberger.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may be riding with Ben Roethlisberger for the remainder of the 2021 season, but the 2022 season may be a different story.

The Steelers haven’t committed to Roethlisberger beyond this season and the 39-year-old quarterback hasn’t committed to playing beyond this year, with ESPN insider Adam Schefter reporting on Saturday, December 4 that Roethlisberger “privately has told former teammates and some within the organization that he expects this to be his final season playing quarterback for the Steelers.”

With the idea that this could realistically be Roethlisberger’s last season in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are starting to prepare for life without Big Ben for the first time since 2003.

According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, the Steelers will have a number of options to choose from — whether that’s veterans on the free agency and trade market or a rookie quarterback from the NFL draft.

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Steelers Could ‘Make a Play’ for Cousins & Carr

While the Steelers will have no shortage of options, two of the more intriguing candidates are a couple of former Pro Bowl quarterbacks in the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins and Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr.

While both QB’s are under contract through the 2022 season, they could be acquired via trade if both franchises choose to rebuild and head in different directions.

“Two other tradable veteran quarterbacks to keep an eye on are Carr and Cousins, who both have one year left on their deals,” says Pryor. “Both the Raiders and the Vikings appear at a crossroads with their respective quarterbacks and coaching staffs. The Raiders (6-5) already fired Jon Gruden, while Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman are approaching the hot seat with the Vikings sitting at 5-6. If ownership decides to start fresh in either situation, the Steelers could make a play for Cousins or Carr, although Cousins is the most expensive of the bunch.”

Both Vikings & Raiders Are Faltering

The Raiders lost in Week 13 to the Washington Football Team to fall to a record of 6-6. They’ve now lost four of their past five games. While Carr is clearly one of the few bright spots of the team, the reality is that the Raiders have made it to the postseason just once in his seven years with the team.

Considering Carr will be 31 years old next year with one year left on his deal, this would be the perfect time for the Raiders to capitalize on Carr’s value and get something in return during a rebuild.

As far as the Vikings are concerned, they lost a tough one against the previously winless Detroit Lions in Week 13. That loss dropped Minnesota to a record of 5-7 and outside of the playoff picture.

While the Vikings have had some success with Cousins under center, they haven’t exactly received their bang for their buck when they gave the quarterback $84 million guaranteed in 2018 — the first fully guaranteed deal in NFL history.

As the Vikings face the real prospect of not even making it to the postseason this year, now would be a good time to move on from the 33-year-old Cousins — if they can find a suitor.

Cousins also has one year left on his deal at $35 million — a big difference from Carr’s $19.9 million cap hit.

One is clearly more appealing than the other based upon contract value, but both are possible options for the Steelers as they not only enter the post-Roethlisberger era — but avoid a complete rebuild.

Expect the Steelers to be in the hunt for a veteran QB in the offseason.

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