Steelers QB future: Could Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson be 2022 options with Ben Roethlisberger likely gone?

For nearly two decades, the Steelers haven’t cared about their quarterback’s depth chart. Ben Roethlisberger has always been at No. 1 followed by … some guys who are only going to play if Ben Roethlisberger gets hurt.

That chart will look a little different heading into the 2022 season. While he has yet to offer an official proclamation, “all signs” point to Roethlisberger retiring at the end of the 2021 campaign. The 39-man likely departure. years will leave Pittsburgh with a big decision to make when the post-Big Ben era finally begins.

The franchise may decide to undergo a complete rebuild and select a young quarterback in the NFL Draft. The Steelers could also look for a quarterback in the middle of the road, someone who isn’t seen as a game changer but who can keep the team competitive and allow the center office to focus on fixing other problems on the roster.

But what if Pittsburgh wants to hit the fences? Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson have seen their names appear in trade rumors throughout the season. Both previously expressed their frustration with their situations, although it is unclear if some of those feelings remain.

Could you be ready for a new beginning? And is that new beginning waiting for one of them in Pittsburgh?

The case of Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson joining the Steelers

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t want a rookie quarterback, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, who reported in October that Pittsburgh “will want to go with someone who is a veteran.” Rodgers and Wilson certainly fall into that category. Rodgers, in particular, has been highly appreciative of Tomlin and the organization, and even shared a fun moment with Tomlin during the Week 4 meeting between the Packers and Steelers.

While it’s worth noting that the Steelers are known for letting players go too early rather than too late, Rodgers and Wilson are still performing at a high level. Rodgers has led the Packers to the No. 1 seed in the NFC and could capture back-to-back MVP awards. Wilson has experienced a low year by his standards, but he was also a Pro Bowler from 2017 to 2020 and turned just 33 at the end of November.

Looking at this change from the perspectives of Rodgers and Wilson, the Steelers have some attractive qualities. They are one of the most stable franchises in the NFL in terms of organizational leadership and training. They have intriguing offensive weapons in Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. They have top-tier defensive talent in TJ Watt, Cameron Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

“I am looking [Pittsburgh] as another destination that would be, I think, tempting and a real shot at winning a Super Bowl for Russell Wilson. ” ESPN’s Marcus Spears said last month. “Y [it’s] a team that may be a little closer to being competitive than we think when we start talking about winning everything. “

The same logic could apply to Rodgers. One of those guys could be the missing piece for a Steelers team that managed to stay on track for the playoffs despite Roethlisberger’s limitations at this stage in his career.

The case against Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson to join the Steelers

Tomlin wants a veteran quarterback. Well, are you prepared to lose a ton of other assets? The Packers and Seahawks aren’t giving away Rodgers and Wilson for a lousy package, and it’s not like the Steelers are known for completing highly successful trades.

And are we sure Rodgers or Wilson will push that hard for a trade this offseason? Rodgers could look at the landscape of the league and realize that his best option is to stay in Green Bay. (Nor has he ruled out retirement.) Meanwhile, Wilson has publicly stated that he wants to win more Super Bowls, and his plan is to win them in seattle.

Yes, the Steelers possess great individual talent, but those pieces won’t mean much if they don’t address a major problem: the offensive line. That unit has struggled consistently to protect Roethlisberger, and offensive line coach Adrian Klemm left the team last month to take a similar job in Oregon. Rodgers and Wilson are much more mobile than Roethlisberger, but they are not interested in running for their lives every week.

When you really think about it, is Pittsburgh just one quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender? That’s the question for Rodgers, Wilson and the Steelers.