Should the Steelers be all-in on a veteran quarterback in 2022?
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Jay Glazer was on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Wednesday and reiterated that the Steelers are not interested in starting from scratch with a rookie quarterback next season. Glazer, who is close friends with Mike Tomlin, says the Steelers would rather replace Ben Roethlisberger with a veteran quarterback. And there's going to be a handful of veteran quarterbacks to choose from this offseason, as it's possible that Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson will on the market. Watson, however, is still dealing with an ongoing legal matter.
Judging by Glazer's reports, you can bet that the Steelers will express at least some interested in acquiring Rodgers or Wilson. Would either of the two star quarterbacks want to come to Pittsburgh, however? That's the tough part to figure out. It would be a rare move for the Steelers. As Mark Madden mentioned on the "Pat McAfee Show," since 1970 the Steelers have had just three seasons where the quarterback who started the majority of the games wasn't drafted by the organization -- Mike Tomczak in 1996 and Tommy Maddox in 2002 and 2003.
The biggest factor that would lead either Rodgers or Wilson to Pittsburgh is Tomlin. Rodgers has already expressed how much respect he has for Tomlin. I'm sure Wilson would love to play for Tomlin, as well. Who wouldn't? The Steelers also have a featured running back in Najee Harris and some top-tier players on defense. So, it has the potential to be a good fit. The downside is that I don't know if Rodgers or Wilson would want to play behind the Steelers' offensive line. However, they are a young group. Also, there will be a ton of other suitors for their services, so can the Steelers make the best offer?
As mentioned, Glazer is close friends with Tomlin, so I'd assume his report on the Steelers not wanting to start over with a rookie quarterback is pretty accurate. This year's quarterback class isn't all that impressive, either. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is probably the best quarterback in the class, and he's a fifth-year senior and a one-year wonder.
The Steelers might be better off waiting until 2023 and getting a bridge quarterback for 2022 (Mason Rudolph isn't that guy). The Steelers shouldn't draft a quarterback in the first round just for the sake of doing so. That's how teams get set back for years.
You can also discount any quarterback that doesn't have at least some mobility in being the Steelers' next quarterback. Tomlin has made it clear this season that he values quarterback mobility and has been studying the trend in the league. Roethlisberger will be 40 next year and his mobility is all but done. This should be Roethlisberger's last year anyway. If he tries to come back in 2022, the Steelers just need to be firm and tell him we're moving on.
Rodgers and Wilson both have mobility and can extend plays. Tomlin obviously would welcome their talents. Can the Steelers pull it off and get a big-named veteran quarterback, though? That will be the big question this offseason. Regardless, I trust Glazer's report that they want a veteran quarterback and are not interested in starting over with a rookie quarterback. At least not in 2022.