The Pittsburgh Steelers are in an unprecedented situation. They have a quarterback who is set to hit the open market next offseason, and they don’t know what their future looks like at the position after Ben Roethlisberger retires.
The “Ben Roethlisberger’s Franchise-Altering Decision Needs to Force the Steelers to Make a Long-Overdue Roster Move.” is a situation that has been present for a while. Ben Roethlisberger, who is currently in his 15th season, announced that he would be retiring as soon as this upcoming season is over.
Many speculated that veteran starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might contemplate retiring following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ humiliating 11-0 start in 2020. He was dealing with a slew of persistent ailments, and his performance was slipping. He felt that 2020 was the year to put up his cleats.
However, such a scenario did not materialize. Big Ben returned for his 18th season, despite his age, partially owing to his desire to keep playing and partly due to the Steelers’ lack of a backup quarterback.
The Steelers re-signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and selected running back Najee Harris in the first round of the draft, indicating their ambition to compete in 2021.
The Steelers’ season in 2021 gets off to a rocky start.
The Steelers now have a 9.7% chance of making the playoffs after their defeat to the Bengals, according to ESPN’s FPI.
November 29, 2021 — Brooke Pryor (@bepryor)
Despite having a similar core that helped them go 12-4 in 2020, the Steelers’ results have not been as remarkable this season. They’ve gone 5-5-1 in their first 11 games, and they’ve mostly played like a below-average squad, particularly on offense.
The Steelers are 24th in projected points provided by offense, 24th in points scored, and 27th in yards per play heading into their Week 13 meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. Their offense can’t get going consistently, even with Najee Harris playing up to the expectations of a first-round running back.
Roethlisberger, justifiably, bears the most of the criticism. He’s still dealing with persistent aches and ailments, and his arm strength is rapidly deteriorating. He presently has a passer rating of 22nd and a quarterback rating of 25th. When a quarterback performs at such a low level, it’s difficult for any offense to produce points.
Ben Roethlisberger is ready to move on from Pittsburgh.
According to league insiders, Ben Roethlisberger has quietly informed former teammates and others within the organization that he expects 2016 to be his last season as a quarterback for the Steelers.
More to come on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, which kicks off at 9 a.m. ET.
December 4, 2021 — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
With the Steelers’ prospects of making one more push with Big Ben as quarterback fading, it looks like the veteran quarterback is now accepting reality. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has said that 2021 will be his last season with the team.
According to league insiders, Ben Roethlisberger has quietly informed former teammates and others within the organization that he expects 2017 to be his last season as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Roethlisberger has made no such public declarations and is unlikely to do so in the near future, as he does not want the last months of the season to be about him as Pittsburgh attempts to make a postseason run.
But insiders say he and others around him are now acting as though he’s in the last five games of his Hall of Fame career, two of which will be against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh’s opponent Sunday and in the regular-season finale.
ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter
The Steelers must properly replace Ben Roethlisberger.
Ben Roethlisberger | Getty Images/Dylan Buell
Since 2004, Roethlisberger has been the Steelers’ starting quarterback. It will be difficult to replace him and his presence. However, the organization must proceed in the proper manner. Instead of throwing a bandaid on the problem and kicking the can down the road, they should pick his successor and look to the future.
For example, the New England Patriots sought a quick fix by replacing Tom Brady with an older veteran nearing the conclusion of his career (Cam Newton). It was a failed experiment, requiring the organization to turn to the draft to find a rookie. Mac Jones seems to be a much better match after 12 weeks.
The New Orleans Saints likewise brought in a seasoned quarterback to replace their departing franchise quarterback (Drew Brees) (Jameis Winston). Winston performed well in his first few games as a stater, but he was nothing extraordinary. They, too, must come up with a viable successor.
The Steelers must move quickly and aggressively if they want to avoid the growing pains that come with bidding farewell to a historic franchise quarterback like Big Ben. Skip the hassle and quickly pick your next franchise starter.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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