Disclaimer: The author realizes that the team is burning in Salary Cap Hell and can’t pony up much money for free agents. However, you never know what they have planned and it’s the author’s responsibility to highlight the free agent options. When it comes to the salary cap and the backup signal caller position, It’s like the lyric in the Crosby, Stills and Nash tune, “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey...love the one you’re with”.
The Steelers have plenty of options behind Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, but are they good options? The front office keeps on saying that they are content with Mason Rudolph as a back up to Ben Roethlisberger. They also say that they are fine with Duck Hodges, JT Barrett and Paxton Lynch fighting it out for the third spot. However, they saw what happened with inexperience and subpar play at the most important offensive position on the field, as they faltered down the stretch. The say they won’t, but here are the available free agents should the Steelers find themselves looking to add at quarterback come March.
Case Keenum - Washington Redskins - 6’1”, 215 lbs, Age 32
2019 Passing - 10 games, 1-7 record, 64.8%, 1707 yards, 11 TD, 5 INT
Career Passing - 67 games, 27-35 record, 62.4%, 14368 yards, 75 TD, 47 INT
Keenum is a solid veteran backup. In 2017, he led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. After being acquired to start in a Denver and Washington, the veteran of six teams since 2012 would be the perfect guy to sub for Roethlisberger if he were to go down. I imagine the 2019 Steelers going much further with Case coming in Week 2.
Matt Moore - Kansas City Chiefs - 6’3”, 219 lbs, Age 35
2019 Passing - 6 games, 1-1 record, 64.8%, 659 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Career Passing - 55 games, 16-16 record, 7597 yards, 49 TD, 36 INT
One of the reasons that the Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years is due to Matt Moore keeping the team afloat when Patrick Mahomes was injured in October. A career backup in Carolina and Miami, Moore is another guy that is great at getting teams through an injury to their starter.
Chase Daniel - Chicago Bears 6’0”, 229 lbs, Age 33
2019 Passing - 3 games, 0-1 record, 70.3%, 435 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Career Passing - 65 games, 2-3 record, 68.3%, 1430 yards, 7 TD, 5 INT
In the league since 2009, Daniel just recently established himself as a top-tier backup in the NFL over the past few seasons. He has provided Chicago with a capable backup play that has a good skill set and is a quality teammate and influence. If the price is right for the journeyman, Daniel is a quality add.
A.J. McCarron - Houston Texans 6’3”, 215 lbs, Age 29
2019 Passing - 2 games, 0-1 record, 56.8%, 225 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Career Passing - 15 games, 2-2 record, 62.4%, 1153 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT
A two-time NCAA champion at Alabama, McCarron filled in brilliantly for Andy Dalton during the stretch run in 2015. Once tabbed as starting material, the game manager with decent arm strength was set to possibly start in Buffalo, but was derailed by injury. Since then, McCarron has been relegated to backup duty in locales such as Oakland and Houston.
Mike Glennon - Oakland Raiders 6’7”, 225 lbs, Age 30
2019 Passing - 2 games, 0-0 record, 60.0%, 56 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Career Passing - 29 games, 6-16 record, 60.9%, 5163 yards, 36 TD, 20 INT
Glennon has made a lot of cash in this league for having only six total wins, one-third of those wins came against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Because he’s done so well financially with minimal wear on his tires, the market price will be lower for a guy like Glennon. But there will be a market for a QB that can make throws, purely as a relief or spot option.
Other Notable Free Agent Backup QBs
Kyle Sloter - Detroit Lions
Blaine Gabbert - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brett Hundley - Arizona Cardinals
Nate Sudfield - Philadelphia Eagles
Josh McCown - Philadelphia Eagles
Trevor Siemian - New York Jets
Colt McCoy - Washington Redskins
Brock Osweiler - Miami Dolphins
Taysom Hill - New Orleans Saints (RFA)
You may have noticed that many huge names were omitted from the large list of options. With the hope that Ben Roethlisberger comes back, the Steelers aren’t searching for a quarterback with starting aspirations to gum up the works. They also can’t afford one. But for the sake of listing every option, here are the gems of the 2020 free agent class of passers.
Notable Free Agent Starting Quarterbacks
Teddy Bridgewater - New Orleans Saints
Tom Brady - New England Patriots
Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints
Phillip Rivers - Los Angeles Chargers
Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Mariota - Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill - Tennessee Titans
Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys (RFA)
Regardless of affordability, what Free Agent backup QB would you like the Steelers to sign in 2020?
This poll is closed