Strackbein Says: Ben’s words mean nothing, and everything, when drafting a quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going anywhere in 2018, but past that, no one has any idea what the quarterback situation will be for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If you really believe Ben Roethlisberger is here to stay for the next three years, then you don’t believe the Steelers will win a Super Bowl during that time. One more ring isn’t going to help Ben decide to stay, but make it easy to walk away.

Leaving on top is the goal for any athlete. For quarterbacks will legacies like Ben’s, it’s amplified.

The Steelers have a team ready to win, now. Not later. Meaning 2018 has the same goal 2017 did – win a championship. In Ben’s mind, whenever this goal is completed is his time to walk away from the game. No matter where the Steelers’ quarterback situation is.

He was ready to retire last year and decided to come back because of the talent around him. When the postseason ended in disappointment, he made the easy decision to come back until his third Super Bowl ring was won.

He gave himself a three-year timeline to complete this task. That doesn’t mean he’s sticking around for three years, it means he’s playing up to three more seasons before he’s giving up on Lombardi number three.

So, for everyone saying there’s time to wait on drafting the next franchise quarterback, there isn’t. Fans, players and coaches all expect a Super Bowl parade in Pittsburgh next February. Just like The Bus made his last stop in Detroit while holding up the Lombardi, Ben can certainly do the same in Atlanta on February 3.

Waiting is an option, but not for the reasons people are giving. If Mason Rudolph isn’t the next play-caller for this team, or Josh Dobbs is showing more promise than we realize, stick to your guns and hold out.

If it’s because Ben said he’s playing for three more seasons, it’s going to lead to a disastrous year whenever he calls it quits. Because if Dobbs isn’t the answer and Landry Jones is the only other option outside a late first-round pick the year Ben retires, the options are unimpressive.

The 2018 Draft posses a perfect scenario for Pittsburgh. It isn’t often you find five quarterbacks worthy of first-round consideration in one class. And with the 28th pick, most times the QBs sitting around aren’t future superstars.

Pittsburgh not considering a quarterback at No. 28 should only because of one reason – Derrius Guice. Say what you want about an inside linebacker, but this draft is filled with them and Pittsburgh doesn’t need to take one in the opening round.

If they’re serious about moving on from Le’Veon Bell, though, then go for it. He’s not getting a long-term deal this offseason. He turns 27 by the end of next year and offering a running back a five-year deal when he’s got three years before the backend of his career is gutsy.

Pittsburgh can certainly wait it out and negotiation next offseason, but realistically, everyone is coming to terms with Bell being gone sooner than later. Guice is the second-best back in a draft class loaded with superstar ball carriers. Not a bad option to take replace an All-Pro back.

Outside of a running back, though, the argument of “best available” isn’t valid. This team can go inside linebacker in the first, but that only benefits them right now. Draft an inside linebacker at 28, win a Super Bowl and then figure out how to continue winning without a franchise quarterback.

Ask Denver, it doesn’t work real well.

Quarterback is the move in the first round. It helps this team for years to come instead of immediately. So what, the coverage at middle linebacker isn’t top tier talent. But guys like Shaquem Griffin and Josey Jewell aren’t practice squad players.

It’s a wasted pick to go defense in the first round. This team needs to consider Ben’s emotions before they believe his words. Because once he gets that trophy in his hands, his career is over. And Pittsburgh is going to be a sitting duck with no one to lead this team.

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