It’s time for the Steelers to get their next starting quarterback under contract

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At a time when it’s fair to explore the message being sent by the Steelers via the leaks regarding Antonio Brown, it’s more than appropriate for the Steelers to explore the message being sent by the comments from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s regarding his future.

In not committing automatically to a return in 2017, the soon-to-be-35-year-old quarterback said, given his age, “that’s the smart and prudent thing to do every year.”

Signed through 2019, Roethlisberger would be walking away from $12 million in 2017, $17 million in 2018, and $17 million in 2019. Perhaps most importantly, he’d owe the team $18.6 million if he quits now, $12.4 million a year from now, and $6.2 million in 2019 in signing bonus money that previously was paid to him.

For that reason alone, it’s unlikely that he’ll be leaving. Nevertheless, the Steelers need to start thinking immediately about a replacement.

For 20 years, the Steelers had a revolving door at quarterback between the careers of Terry Bradshaw and Roethlisberger. They went to only one Super Bowl during that window.

Franchise quarterbacks are very hard to find, especially when a team typically drafts in the bottom half of round one. Still, it’s time for the Steelers to fully evaluate all quarterbacks in each and every draft and decide whether and when to pull the trigger on a Roethlisberger replacement.

Roethlisberger may not like the decision to use a first- or second-round pick on a quarterback. Based on his comments from Tuesday, however, he has no basis for complaining.

38 responses to “It’s time for the Steelers to get their next starting quarterback under contract

  1. “For 20 years, the Steelers had a revolving door at quarterback between the careers of Terry Bradshaw and Roethlisberger. They went to only one Super Bowl during that window.”

    Browns fans, this is what we call a “subtle insult”

  2. I mean, they could’ve done like the cowboys did and drafted a “dak type” in the late rounds, so you don’t get screwed if your QB suddenly decides to retire.

  3. Perhaps they should have taken a page out of the “Evil Empire’s” playbook. The Patriots have drafted these quarterbacks: Jacoby Brissett (2016), Jimmy Garoppolo (2014), Ryan Mallett (2011), Zac Robinson (2010), Julian Edelman (2009 – now a WR). You get the point. During the same period the Steelers drafted Landry Jones (2013). Someone’s dropped the ball in the Steelers’ organization – Ben better keep playing while the Steelers scramble to find a successor.

  4. The Steelers would have to formally petition to get that money back. That’s not a great public look, so there’s a question of whether they’d do so. The Patriots didn’t when Jerod Mayo retired.

  5. How hard can it really be – Pats took a chance on Brady after the 6th round and got lucky, but look at their other pickups – Cassell and Hoyer proved to be ok backups and Garropolo and Brissett could both start. Even Edelman was picked up in part because (as a guy who switched from QB to WR in college) he’d be the emergency backup QB! Huard, Testaverde and Flutie were all useful mid or late career pickups that won games. And Troy Brown could throw too.

    Trip has been too busy cheerleading and riding Big Ben’s bones into dust while doing precious little about depth.

  6. He’s not retiring. He only said this because he is going through Post-Playoff Attention Withdrawal.
    It’s common among football players when their team loses, the attention suddenly shifts away from them.
    The knee-jerk reaction is to say something outlandish to get the spotlight back on themselves, if only for a brief, shining moment.

  7. Calling it now as many have, this is just like Brett Favre. He’s going to talk about retiring off and on for the next few seasons and the Steelers will look for his replacement. Here’s where I plan on nostridams it. After going through the same thing Brett did he’ll either be traded or released and after a season end up with the Browns. Where he wanted to go on draft day. He’ll make them relevant and they’ll have a good year. Just like when Brett went to the Vikings. They’ll fall just short and Cleveland same as Minnesota and they’ll lament forever what might have been.

  8. “Jimmy Garoppolo”

    I don’t see Belichick trading Garrappollo to a primary rival.

    But the Steelers need to get a replacement lined up because while its fair to assume he’ll want to get at least one more season in to reduce the amount he’ll theoretically have to pay back, they have to plan for the possibility that Ben gets another concussion.

    With each concussion you get it becomes more likely you will suffer further ones. If he gets a bad one next year that could be it and he’ll have a valid medical reason to retire, for which the Steelers might well not go after what he’s supposed to repay.

  9. They wont be drafting until 30 in a weak QB draft year. Why waste a high pick and just hope they will find a QB diamond in the rough. Ben will most likely play out his contract then retire. People are forgetting that Bryant as long as he lays off the weed will be back next season giving the Steelers another legitimate receiving threat after Brown. Also there are a ton of dead weight contracts coming off the books meaning they can shore up that defense a bit if they choose to. I think next season may be their best and last shot to get back to the Superbowl. Bottom line franchise QB’s do not come along very often. As long as Ben is playing they have to go for it now.

  10. This is exactly why the Eagles moved up to get Wentz last year. He was a guy they saw as a franchise QB, which is always something you want. But the deciding factor, was the competition there was going to be for elite young QB’s going forward.

    The list of young elite QB’s is basically Wilson, Winston and Luck. Maybe Cam? (Leaving out guys drafted in ’16) The list of elite QB’s is basically a who’s who of guy to be retired 5 years from now . Brady, Ben, Eli, Brees, Rivers, Palmer, these guys are all on the wrong side of 35. Even guys like Rodgers (33), Matt Ryan (31), Flacco (32) and Alex Smith (32) are on the wrong side of 30. Basically, the best under 30 besides who I listed are Stafford (28) Dalton (27) and Bradford (29), none of which I would consider “elite”.

    Young QBs that could be franchise guys are already close the hardest thing to get in the NFL. That becomes even more true, when most of the top QB’s are going to be hanging them up, and all of those teams are now looking for the “next” guy.

  11. I think this is a message that if they do not improve the team around him where they can be in a position to beat the Patriots, he may retire. He was the only one that played well in the championship game. His int was the receivers fault.

  12. The DRAMA QUEEN strikes again!!! Give it a rest. Nobody believes you are retiring, and your attempts to make yourself into a heroic figure got tired a long time ago!

  13. fartsmella says:
    Jan 24, 2017 12:54 PM
    Jimmy Garoppolo

    ______________

    Nobody, including the Pats, thinks he can run a NFL team. If they did, they wouldn’t be so willing to move him, considering Brady is 38

    He’s Matt Cassell 2.0. A less talented version of Brock Osweiler .

  14. Pittsburgh is’t the only team not planning ahead. Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger have been doing it since 2004. None of their backups this past season were viable long term replacements and all are now UFA’s. All 3 teams should be targeting potential replacements in the draft.

  15. Ben is at an age and a life stage with his family where it is prudent to start evaluating what his future holds at the end of each season. He didn’t say anything to indicate he plans on retiring now. But he plays a more physical game than Brady, so I doubt he’ll be on the field at 40. Yes, it’s time to think about signing that next franchise QB. And I’m sure the Steelers will do that if a potential franchise QB is available when our number comes up in the draft … which doesn’t happen often. That’s why we went 20 years between Bradshaw and Roethlisberger.

    Someone mentioned signing AJ McCarron. I’m a lifelong Bama fan and know his talent well. I wish we had been able to sign McCarron, who is under contract to the Bengals and unavailable. He’s a solid backup and much more talented than what we have now, but he’s not a franchise QB.

  16. Garoppollo? I doubt he has the same success outside of New England. I’m a Steelers fan through and through, but Belichick is a wizard. We have seen several teams try to snag the Patriots backups during the Brady era and none had the same success outside of the system. Even the assistant coaches have not lived up to the hype (at least as head coaches). It is just wizardry I tell ya!

    McCarron would be the guy I would want if Ben retires this coming season.

  17. I would say the Steelers are better off going “all in” for a few more years. Don’t spend a high pick on a QB, shore up the pass rush, secondary, and maybe find another RB to replace Williams. After Ben retires, worry about finding a replacement.

  18. He can earn $47 million or owe $37 million……..
    I think Ben is back in uniform the next few seasons.

    I think you misunderstood… the most he would owe is $18.6mil which is the prorated amount of his signing bonus remaining ($6.2mil x 3 years). If he plays another season then he only would owe two years worth of prorated signing bonus.

  19. harrisonhits2 says:
    Jan 24, 2017 1:26 PM
    “Jimmy Garoppolo”

    I don’t see Belichick trading Garrappollo to a primary rival.

    But the Steelers need to get a replacement lined up because while its fair to assume he’ll want to get at least one more season in to reduce the amount he’ll theoretically have to pay back, they have to plan for the possibility that Ben gets another concussion.

    With each concussion you get it becomes more likely you will suffer further ones. If he gets a bad one next year that could be it and he’ll have a valid medical reason to retire, for which the Steelers might well not go after what he’s supposed to repay.
    ======================================
    They can draft their own Garoppolo in the second round who would be ready in three to four years. I would agree that I would never trade Jimmy Garoppolo to certain teams, the first being Houston. If Houston had Garoppolo and a healthy JJ Watt, they would be a threat in the Conference.

  20. Whomever they find will disappoint. This organization has no eye for talent. They’ve gotten where they are through bad officiating and cheating.

  21. TRADE HIM… ASAP
    Roethlisberger’s weekly radio spots are nothing more than a venue to undermine the operation and create drama.
    He threw the team’s young receivers under the bus immediately following Sunday’s loss. Is that leadership?
    Obviously he’s unhappy.
    Trade him!!!
    BTW: The Steelers’ lack of Super Bowl titles from 1980 to 2005 had more to do with lousy rosters than with lousy QBs.
    Secondly, if having Ben at QB was the cure all, why not more Super Bowl wins than just two in 13 seasons?
    This quarterback obsession among the media and fan bases is maddening.

  22. Who suggested the Steelers getting Jim Garropolo. LOL. They need to draft a young arm who can learn from Ben. Landry Jones is not that guy. Ben being Ben about retirement. LOL. He’s such a drama queen. Ranks up there with queen Romo. He will never walk away from all that $$$ never.

  23. The beauty of Ben’s comments is that, while it is hard to believe he would actually hang them up, getting so close, with the pieces the team has in place, and with that much money at state, it give’s the team “permission” to draft a QB high.

    He is saying he won’t take offence if they use a one or two on a quality QB prospect. Saying it publicly takes the media dramatisation if they do, out of the equation.

    You have to think his SuperBowl window is maybe two years?

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