(Photography from Steelers.com)
The Steelers will be walking into a very unusual 2021 NFL season as their long-time Hall of Fame quarterback could ride off into the sunset toward the end of the season. Ben Roethlisberger has signed a one-year deal with the Steelers to come back and give it another shot in 2021. Depending on how the season plays out for Roethlisberger will ultimately determine his fate with the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Currently, the only quarterback they have signed heading into the 2022 season is Mason Rudolph on the roster. So what would happen if Ben Roethlisberger ends up retiring?
I think it would be fair to assume the Steelers will allow Ben Roethlisberger to retire on his own terms. At least that is the vibe I am getting from the organization. Unfortunately, Troy Polamalu did not get to retire on his own, but the quarterback position is much different. If Ben Roethlisberger were to ride off into the sunset I am willing to bet the Steelers will ride with Mason Rudolph as their starting quarterback if we were to walk into the 2022 season as we stand right now.
Heading into training camp there will be a battle for the backup quarterback position between Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs, and Dwayne Haskins. The Steelers feel if they can bring Haskins into a good competition during training camp that would be a good way to fully see what he can bring to the table. That is something he did not have in Washington and Ron Rivera even admitted to it last week during his interview with the media.
Mike Tomlin has the same agent as Dwayne Haskins and once he was released from the Washington Football team it was an easy decision to make for Tomlin to bring him into a better football system in Pittsburgh. It is very obvious Tomlin likes what he sees in regards to Dwayne Haskins and feels he could potentially develop in the Steelers system if he can figure out his distractions on and off of the football field.
Tomlin on Haskins: "I've been more concerned about Dwayne the person. What he's been through. How it's affected the growth and development of his game."
The interest is there between Tomlin and Haskins... Now Haskins will need to translate his skills to the football field. Some NFL scouts felt Haskins was worth taking in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft so many feel he has the capabilities to become an NFL-level quarterback. Even Ben Roethlisberger feels Haskins has some of the best mechanics he has seen in the game of football. Roethlisberger very rarely likes to compliment the current quarterbacks on the Steelers football team too. So take it how you will...
One of the biggest things Dwayne Haskins needs to prove to the Steelers during training camp is that he is growing. They know he can become an NFL quarterback, but they need to see if he can mature on the football field and get better. If the Steelers can maximize Haskin's potential and provide support while coaxing him in the right direction I think they should get what they're looking for out of Haskins in the near future. If all of the cards fall in the right order for Dwayne through training camp and this season he could potentially set himself up to be the successor the Steelers are looking for once Ben Roethlisberger rides off into the sunset.