The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for 2021. The new deal lowers his pay by $5 million, reducing his cap hit, and allows the team to make some moves heading into next season.
What else were the Steelers going to do? Sitting with the 24th pick in the upcoming draft, a quality starting quarterback is out of reach. Trading up would set the team back further as it tries to add to the success they saw in 2020. And aside from Russell Wilson and DeShaun Watson, there is really no one out there available who would be an upgrade. Both Wilson and Watson can’t be acquired without having to give up the farm.
The Steelers could have moved on from Roesthlisberger, for sure. However, keeping him around for one more season, allows them to build on their momentum from last season, and really see what they have to work with in the future. that.
There are teams out there, with veteran QBs who are being pushed out the door or left to walk to another team. The Patriots let Tom Brady walk in favor of Jarret Stidham and then Cam Newton. The Patriots failed to make the playoffs and Brady led the Bucaneers to a Super Bowl.
The Falcons have been the prime example of the flip side of this argument. Lots of pundits are screaming “they gotta take a QB at #4” despite Matt Ryan being 35, with two years left on his contract. If you take a QB as high as #4 that QB better be starting Week 1. The Falcons don’t HAVE TO move off of Ryan. He can still ball out. The defense was the biggest issue.
The Panthers don’t know who their QB is going to be. The Saints don’t know who their QB is going to be. Take a QB, fine, but at #4 he’s not sitting behind Ryan for two years.
This brings us back to Roethlisberger. In 2020, Big Ben threw 33 TDs, 10 INTs, for over 3,800 yards passing, with a rating over 94. Add to that a completion percentage of 66% in arguably the toughest, or one of the toughest, divisions in football and it does not sound like he’s done in Pittsburgh. Is he the QB he used to be? Of course not. But barring any injuries, there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to go another full season.
And that’s exactly why bringing him back for one more season under center was the only option the Steelers had.
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