The Pittsburgh Steelers have found themselves in last place of the AFC North holding a 1-3 record on the season. Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t look like the franchise quarterback he used to be. It seems injuries and age have finally caught up to the 18-year veteran. It’s time to evaluate two possible Steelers quarterback replacements for the 2021 season.
Of course, the coaching staff could opt to give Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins a shot at being the starting quarterback. However, we’ve seen what they can do and it’s unclear whether or not they’d be an upgrade over Ben Roethlisberger. For that reason, the front office could elect to make a move to improve the offense.
If that’s the case, there are only two valid options available for the time being. The Steelers are likely to draft a rookie in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, with Roethlisberger struggling and the team stacked with talent, now might be the time to replace Big Ben with somebody else. With that said, here are two potential Steelers quarterback replacements for Ben Roethlisberger.
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Steelers Quarterback Replacements
Although he was cut by the New England Patriots before the start of the season, Cam Newton was in contention to be the starting quarterback. He has no plans to retire and still has the talent to provide consistent quarterback play. Newton is not the same player he used to be by any means, but right now, he’d be an improvement over Ben Roethlisberger.
Due to the Steelers poor offensive line, signing Cam Newton would be a smart move. Roethlisberger provides no mobility in the pocket while Newton is the exact opposite. Pittsburgh’s offensive line is one of the worst in the league. For that reason, having a mobile quarterback under center can balance out the offense.
Additionally, Newton would improve the Steelers run game as well, as he’s a versatile weapon with the ball in his hands. The receivers would have a slight boost in production, as Newton can hit the short, to intermediate routes. Simultaneously, Newton’s arm is much stronger than Roethlisberger’s right now, so the offense could open up their playbook. This is a long-shot move, but Cam Newton could be a nice one-year rental the Steelers could rely on.
Gardner Minshew has been a decent quarterback since entering the league. He helped the Jacksonville Jaguars for a bit but ended up getting traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s currently stuck in a backup role, but his past production suggests Minshew deserves another chance to be a starting quarterback.
Considering he’s already been traded once this season, it’s a long shot for the Steelers to acquire Minshew. Even so, he’d help solve a lot of problems in Pittsburgh’s offense. Gardner Minshew spread the ball around particularly well during his time in Jacksonville. Additionally, he has the arm strength to deliver the deep ball. Similar to Newton, Minshew has some mobility in his game as well, which is only a good thing for this Steelers team.
The front office would have to part ways with a future draft pick to make this deal happen. That’s the only thing preventing this franchise from making it come to fruition. They might be in a situation where draft picks are too valuable to give up. Either way, if the Steelers should consider trading for Gardner Minshew. He’d step in as a decent starter almost immediately and strengthen the quarterback competition next offseason, as he’s young enough to provide long-term appeal.