The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Would you have wanted the Steelers to pay the price the Carolina Panthers paid for quarterback Sam Darnold?
The Steelers are on the edge right now at the quarterback position with the Ben Roethlisberger era coming to an end. The smart money probably has the 2020 season being his last before he retires, whether by choice or by the team saying he’s not going to be re-signed.
With that in mind, everybody and their mother has been trying to line the Steelers up with their next quarterback, and one popular name has been former New York Jets first-round draft pick Sam Darnold, who has had three uninspiring seasons there.
That ship has, of course, sailed, as the Carolina Panthers traded for him. They gave up second- and fourth-round draft picks in 2022 and a sixth-round pick in 2021 in order to acquire the former USC star, who played with JuJu Smith-Schuster in college.
So the question is a simple one today: would you pay that price for Darnold? The Steelers already have a failed former first-round pick on the roster in the form of Dwayne Haskins. They were connected to trade rumors for him as well, but they ended up getting him on a Resere/Future contract for the minimum instead.