Does Steelers GM Kevin Colbert have a plan after Ben Roethlisberger?

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12). Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers will soon be on the hunt for their next franchise quarterback. Does Kevin Colbert have a plan after Ben Roethlisberger?

As if it wasn’t enough that all signs were pointing to 2021 as being the final season for Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, we have now heard that the 18-year NFL quarterback plans to hang up his cleats for good following the closure of the season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Roethlisberger has privately told former teammates and some within the organization that he expects this to be his final season with the Steelers. With a voidable-year contract that already has Pittsburgh counting $10.3 million against the cap next season and with the sub-par level of play we have seen from Ben this year, I’m not sure if the organization would have it any other way.

While our focus is on the here and now in what this legendary quarterback will be able to do in his final five games (and hopefully a playoff run), Kevin Colbert and his crew must be making plans to replace arguably the most important player in the history of the Steelers. But what does he intend to do next?

Trading for a QB might not be an option

Kevin Colbert is often labeled as a conservative general manager who goes by the book. However, Colbert has been much more aggressive in recent years. In 2019 alone, Colbert made two blockbuster moves — trading up to the 10th overall pick in the draft for Devin Bush and trading a future first-rounder for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Though only one of these moves worked out for the team, there’s even more reason to be aggressive when it comes to the quarterback position. Unfortunately, trading is only an option if quarterbacks are up for grabs. The Green Bay Packers, for example, could decide to roll with Aaron Rodgers for one more season and let bygones be bygones.

As far as trades are concerned, Pittsburgh’s options could include, Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, or Jimmy Garoppolo. However, there’s no guarantee the guys they like will become available or that the Steelers would be willing to give up elite draft capital for them. This option seems the least likely of the three.