3 reasons why Roethlisberger can’t be on Steelers in 2021

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Defensive longevity

The Steelers have come a long way on defense in recent years. After the stalwarts of the 2000s retired, this defense was a constant laughing point in the league. It took a plethora of investments, but the Steelers now have one of the best units in the league. That said, if the team wants to maximize this star-studded defense, they will need to get their offense back to a better form.

Every year that passes now is one that wastes what should be a Super Bowl winning defense. Older stars like Cameron Heyward inch toward regression and retirement while younger stars like T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick get new contracts that cause their cap hits to skyrocket. Realistically, unless this defense continues to be invested in, this group has about three years before it could be in some trouble.

That makes having a quick turnaround a must. No matter who is quarterback next year, the Steelers will see regression from their offense. The amount of talent that is set to leave is great, and a reduction in talent will lead to a worse output. But, if the team could then be set up to get their quarterback next offseason with a good youthful core around him, the one down season could lead to a quick return to the top of the AFC.

If the Steelers are fielding a competitive offense with a new quarterback by 2022, this defense should still mostly be intact for a few years. This gives them the best chance to make a Super Bowl push sooner than later. If the team retains Roethlisberger, they will likely have a better record in 2021, but it won’t likely be enough to win a Super Bowl. The team should embrace one bad season in order to be in a better spot to build this team for the future.

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Again, losing Roethlisberger will result in a worse Steelers team in 2021. That said, if he is off the team, the Steelers will be able to retain more of their free agents, begin what could be a short rebuild, and have a competitive offense again before the defense becomes a question mark. While it would be hard to see him go, Roethlisberger not being on the roster next year could be best for the future of the Steelers.