Possibly the biggest offseason question mark for the Pittsburgh Steelers was recently answered, as QB Ben Roethlisberger will be back as the starting QB for the Steelers. Ben’s agent Ryan Tollner and Steelers owner Art Rooney II have both announced that they are working on Ben’s contract and that he will be back for 2021. Most fans expected Ben to be back for this upcoming year, but it started to look a little shaky the past few weeks. Now that we know that Ben will be the QB for 2021, where do the Pittsburgh Steelers go from here?
The next order of business is to restructure Ben’s contract. The Steelers have said that it simply isn’t possible for Roethlisberger to play with the 41.5 million dollar cap hit that he currently has. This shouldn’t be an issue, as Ben has stated multiple times already that he doesn’t care about his pay and will gladly take a paycut. Once the Steelers restructure Ben’s contract and get under the salary cap, this is where they could go a number of different ways.
The two things the Steelers will undoubtedly focus on the most this off-season are running back and offensive line, they just have to figure out how they’re going to do it. If they could clear up enough cap space to have some spending money in free agency, we could see the Steelers going after a replacement center for the retired Maurkice Pouncey. Guys like David Andrews and Corey Linsley should definitely be on the Steelers’ radar. If they don’t go after a lineman in free agency, we could possibly see the Steelers go after a running back, such as Aaron Jones or Marlon Mack. These options on top of who the Steelers will be able to retain as far as their own free agents are concerned will make this a very interesting and crucial time period for Pittsburgh. Free agency remains a crap shoot simply because we don’t know the salary cap yet and don’t know how that affects the Steelers particularly.
Then of course there is the NFL draft. The Steelers hold the 24th pick in the draft, and what they do in free agency will obviously determine what they do in the draft. Along with RB and OL being the obvious holes, it wouldn’t be crazy for the Steelers to possibly look at a QB. Next year is certainly Ben’s last, so trading up and getting the next franchise guy to sit behind him for a year is definitely not a bad idea. At some point this off-season, the Steelers are going to add a new running back, some young fresh guys on the offensive line, possibly a new QB, and maybe even a wide receiver depending on what they do with pending free agent Juju Smith-Schuster. We just don’t know who those guys are going to be yet.
Pittsburgh obviously has a lot of options. We more or less know what the Steelers are looking to improve this offseason, we just don’t know exactly how they’re going to do it. There are a few different ways they could go, but ultimately we won’t know until the time comes. Until then, Steelers fans can try and make guesses and predictions at how they’ll attack the offseason, and hope that they make the team as ready as they can to try and get Ben one last Super Bowl before he hangs up the cleats.