4 veteran quarterbacks the Steelers should consider for the 2022 season
By Shayne Kubas
With Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement looming, the Steelers must consider all options for his replacement. Luckily, there are a few interesting veteran options for them to consider in 2022.
Following the Steeler’s heartbreaking 48-37 playoff defeat against the Browns, many fans wondered if they had seen the last of Ben Roethlisberger. Not only because of a late-season collapse and a 4 interception performance in the playoff loss but also because of his enormous salary cap hit for next season.
Considering that none of the available free agent or draft options were guaranteed to be better than what the team already had, it was lucky that Ben understood that he had to work with the team to lower his cap hit and return for another season. I personally believe regardless of how the season goes that this will be Ben’s last season, and hopefully it will be a great send-off for the long-time franchise QB.
The question now for Pittsburgh is what their plan is for the 2022 season and beyond. If this team reaches its potential, they won’t have the luxury of picking a new franchise QB at the top of the draft. Even in a worst-case scenario, I don’t see them being a bottom 5 team, so the draft is not guaranteed to be the answer. That being said, there are a few intriguing (and realistic) veteran options that could be available next season. The first and maybe most likely option though is the only QB that seems guaranteed to be on the roster after this season.
Mason Rudolph, Steelers
There are only two possible reasons why the Steelers extended Mason Rudolph for 2022 season: they either believe he could take over as at least a stop-gap starter, or they just wanted the guarantee of having at least one QB on the roster going into next season. Either way, Rudolph will have the advantage over any possible additions to the QB room due to his experience with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
The biggest obstacle he faces as he makes his case though is hard to overcome: his own limitations. Rudolph has good size, but just about every other trait is average or worse. His arm talent is average, his accuracy is inconsistent and he is a very limited athlete. If he was able to improve his accuracy and decision-making a great deal he could be a starting caliber QB, but even then he would still have limited upside. I think Rudolph will stick in the league as a backup for a long time, but I don’t see him becoming an established starter.