For the first time since 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers head into an offseason without Ben Roethlisberger being the unquestioned starter.
Big Ben announced his retirement following Pittsburgh’s AFC Wild Card loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night, ending his 18-year run as the face of the franchise.
Led by head coach Mike Tomlin and soon-to-be retired general manager Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ quarterback situation now takes over center stage in the Steel City.
We now have some betting odds on who the Steelers’ next quarterback will be, courtesy of Sports Betting.
Related: Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 opponents
Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo among favorites to be Pittsburgh Steelers next quarterback
- Mason Rudolph: +275
- Derek Carr: +700
- Jimmy Garoppolo: +750
- Jameis Winston: +900
- Kenny Pickett: +1000
- Matt Corral: +1000
- Kirk Cousins: +1100
- Ryan Fitzpatrick: +1100
- Dwayne Haskins: +1200
- Malik Willis: +1200
- Russell Wilson: +1200
There’s certainly a lot to look at here. Let’s dive in quickly.
First off, it still seems to be trending in the direction of Rudolph taking over for Big Ben in Pittsburgh. A third-round pick from Oklahoma State back in 2018, he’s been waiting behind Big Ben for his chance. It could now happen in 2022.
“Without a surefire plug-and-play quarterback in the draft, everything points toward the Steelers handing the reins to Rudolph, with Haskins having a chance to compete along with the addition of a low-level veteran in free agency and a quarterback in the draft,” Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reported this week.
Based on this numbers, this doesn’t seem to be the best option for Pittsburgh. Then again, Rudolph has familiarity in this offense and would actually be an upgrade over the 2021 version of Roethlisberger.
The other options here are more intriguing.
There’s no telling whether Carr will be back with the Las Vegas Raiders next season. Despite a surprise playoff appearance, general manager Mike Mayock was fired. The coaching situation remains up in the air following the in-season resignation of Jon Gruden. At this point, it does not seem like interim head coach Rich Bisaccia will retain the full-time gig. How that plays out could dictate what Vegas does at quarterback.
- Derek Carr career averages: 65% completion, 3,962 yards, 24 TD, 11 INT, 92.4 rating
Jimmy Garoppolo is also an interesting option for Pittsburgh. He’s vying to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their second NFC Championship Game in three seasons. Despite some questionable numbers on the part of the quarterback, he’s proven to be a winner. Postseason included, Garoppolo has posted a 36-15 record as a starter.
That has to be attractive for a Pittsburgh Steelers organization accustomed to winning. For his part, Garoppolo could be nearing the end of his 49ers career with rookie No. 3 pick Trey Lance waiting in the wings.
It doesn’t seem likely that Pittsburgh will exhaust its first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on a quarterback. That position is seen as relatively weak compared to previous iterations and has no prospect ready to start from Day 1.
This is where a blockbuster trade could come into play. Of those mentioned in the odds listed above, Russell Wilson might be the most obvious. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback could very well demand a trade this offseason following a down campaign in Seattle and with rumors of a furthering rift between Russ and the Seahawks’ organization.
Previous suggestions were that Pittsburgh might not want to exhaust a ton of draft capital in order to add a quarterback to the mix. That would likely eliminate Wilson from the mix, leaving Carr and Garoppolo as the two most-likeliest options outside of Mr. Rudolph.