The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics 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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Could Jimmy Garoppolo be the starting quarterback for your Pittsburgh Steelers this September?
One thing we know with (near) absolute certainty is that Ben Roethlisberger isn’t coming back. He has already announced his retirement, and he has said that he wasn’t going to pull a Brett Favre and be convinced to come back (even if Mike Tomlin begs).
So where does that leave the Steelers at the quarterback position? Well, it leaves them in an incredibly early stage of the process, so answers are hard to come by. They have Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins as in-house options to start this season, but there are numerous other avenues they could explore.
The draft is obviously one, and Tomlin and Kevin Colbert (and Brandon Hunt and Omar Khan and others) are around the country getting their eyes on some of the top arms that will be available. But there are also veterans to be had, either through free agency or even trade.
It has been reported multiple times from multiple sources, most notably Jay Glazer, who has a solid track record, that Tomlin has privately communicated (despite publicly denying) that he doesn’t want to start a rookie this year.
If it’s not Rudolph starting, then, that means they’re bringing somebody in. Among the potentially available unrestricted free agents are Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Mitchell Trubisky.
But they could also consider a quarterback that is already under contract. A player like Jimmy Garoppolo has some compelling tea leaves. For starters, the San Francisco 49ers already drafted a first-round quarterback. Reports are that they are beginning to actively look for trade partners for the veteran.
This is not a question hinting at a position positively or negatively about the hypothetical. It merely seeks to weigh the possibility of it happening. Garoppolo will be available. The Steelers are among the most prominent teams in need of a quarterback. They have recently displayed a greater willingness to do significant trades. And perhaps Kevin Colbert wants to leave the team with a starter in place.