For some reason, there are a number of national sports media experts who have been talking for months about upgrading the quarterback situation for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It ranged from the constant mock drafts which had the Steelers taking a QB with their first selection to the continuing narrative discussing all the flashy names who they are certain will end up in the quarterback room in Pittsburgh. It has gone from Jalen Hurts to Jameis Winston to Cam Newton to Andy Dalton . Now, crazy enough, throw in Aaron Rodgers. It’s the story that just won’t die in the 2020 offseason.
Of course, the more Steeler fans hear about it, the more some are persuaded. There are some local sports media members jumping on board with the Steelers making a move at quarterback, and as the more they say it, the more some fans are convinced.
But have you noticed the phrases they are using, and what they ultimately mean?
For any of these names which some have tied to the Steelers, they followed up with a statement like “...could lead this team into the playoffs.” Do we realize what is ultimately being said with this statement?
To summarize, these statements are basically saying Ben Roethlisberger will not finish the 2020 NFL season.
I understand there is more concern now than there ever has been with Ben Roethlisberger being the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s coming off his first time ever on injured reserve and having elbow surgery on his throwing arm. Yes, it’s concerning. Yes, it would be foolish to not consider another injury as a possibility. But the Steelers made their decision on how they felt about Ben Roethlisberger weeks ago and that is the direction they are going.
The biggest issue with adding another quarterback for the Steelers is money. More specifically, the salary cap. As I’ve already laid out before, teams who have a quarterback on their roster with more than a $20 million salary cap hit generally do not pay a back up quarterback more than $2 million. It’s the reality of the situation as it is difficult to sink too much money into one position in which only one player can be on the field at a time.
The Steelers had a decision to make this past spring. Either Ben Roethlisberger was going to be their quarterback for 2020 and they believed he would complete the season (notice I did not say play every game along the way), or the Steelers needed to address the position right away. First of all, by guaranteeing almost all of Ben’s 2020 contract by turning it into a signing bonus and saving more than $10 million on the salary cap, the Steelers locked in their decision. The only way they were going to do that is if they had the confidence that Roethlisberger would be available for all of 2020. If not, they should have made a different move financially and made sure they had another option for this coming season.
For those saying the Steelers need a better quarterback to lead them into the playoffs, you’ve written off Ben Roethlisberger and you’re saying he will be injured. If you throw in the phrase, “if Roethlisberger gets injured,” then you are merely living in your fears. One of the biggest sticking points with the Steelers is that they don’t live in their fears.
If you are a Steelers fan much like myself, you were simply saying you are hopeful that Ben Roethlisberger can play throughout the 2020 season. If that is the case, then your thinking is exactly what the front office has been saying both in word and deed. Rather than go out and spend salary cap money or high draft capital in order to secure up what happens if Ben Roethlisberger can’t complete the 2020 season, the Steelers have used their free-agent acquisitions and their top draft choice in 2020 to improve the offense for Roethlisberger.
As for addressing the quarterback room, so far the Steelers have not yet felt that an upgrade they would make would be considerable enough to outweigh the financial ramifications. Should something change, especially in regards to Roethlisberger, then the Steelers will make whatever move they must to improve the situation. It’s exactly how General Manger Kevin Colbert stated it following the draft.
Ben Roethlisberger is the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 2020. If the situation changes, specifically where it’s dealing with the remainder of the season, the Steelers will address the issue in whatever manner possible at that time. Until this occurs, the Steelers made sure to spend their draft capital and salary cap space on creating the best team around that quarterback position as they could. Believing Roethlisberger is not going to finish the season before it even starts is not the best use of resources for an NFL franchise, especially one the caliber of the Pittsburgh Steelers.