Why trading for Sam Darnold is still an option for Steelers

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Steelers don’t have the capital to move to the top of the draft for a QB

In a perfect world, there would be an effortless transition from Ben Roethlisberger to the next franchise quarterback who will be in Pittsburgh for 15-plus years. However, the likelihood of this happening just like that is slim to none. The Colts “lucked” into this situation when they were in a position to grab Andrew Luck after Peyton Manning was injured late in his career. Dallas was also very fortunate as they went directly from Tony Romo to Dak Prescott.

Most of the time, however, this doesn’t happen. Ideally, Pittsburgh would like to be drafting in a position that would allow them to take their next franchise guy like Justin Fields or Trey Lance, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be in the cards this year. In order to move up that high in the draft this April, it would cost Pittsburgh multiple first-round picks – something they may not have the luxury to afford.

Because of this, trading for a player seems like a very likely option if Ben Roethlisberger does not return. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold is one of the few remaining quarterbacks who is believed to be on the trade block before the draft. A lack of significant draft capital could cause the Steelers to trade for a young quarterback with upside like Darnold as opposed to rolling the dice with a costly trade-up in the NFL Draft.

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I’m not sure if anybody knows where Sam Darnold will be playing football in 2021, but because the Jets hold the second overall pick and have a chance to take a player like Zach Wilson, we would have to assume that New York will make Darnold available for trade. With all of these factors working against the Steelers, trading for Darnold seems like a realistic option if Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t come back.