The quarterback carousel in the NFL continues to spin ’round and ’round as we gather steam towards the official start of the new league year in early March.
As the QB carousel continues to spin, the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to search for the next guy after Ben Roethlisberger, who retired in mid-January following an 18-year Hall of Fame career. On Thursday, CBS Sports added a new name to the rumor mill for the Steelers, and it’s one that many fans will probably scoff at: Beleaguered Indianapolis Colts’ QB Carson Wentz.
Wentz, whom the Colts traded a 2022 first-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick for last January, are undecided on bringing him back after a disastrous first year at the helm under Frank Reich that resulted in the Colts choking away a playoff spot in the season’s final two weeks, as Wentz and the passing attack struggled mightily.
Now, looking to either trade or release him, the Colts could still find suitors for the former No. 2 overall pick and 2017 MVP runner-up. According to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, one of those landing spots could be Pittsburgh.
“While a Rodgers trade would be sweet for both parties, they feel far more likely to go with a soft rebuild at QB as Mike Tomlin wades into post-Ben Roethlisberger waters,” Benjamin writes. “Wentz offers some traits of a younger Ben, and his arrival wouldn’t preclude them from drafting a QB. They’re also built to play like Wentz’s Colts did in 2021, leaning on the run and defense.”
When Wentz is right, he does offer some of those traits of a younger Ben Roethlisberger, including mobility, the ability to extend the play and make those splash plays down the field, and strength in the pocket to shrug off would-be sacks. Injuries seem to have caught up to him though as he’s consistently banged up, and he also appeared gun-shy in the pocket last season playing behind a strong offensive line in Indianapolis.
Though the Steelers appear to be building more towards a ground-and-pound offense that leans heavily on being physical in the run game and playing great defense, a game-manager is required at quarterback in that scenario, and that’s just not Wentz at this point in his career.
However, if the Colts are willing to eat a portion of his salary, as CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports, and the asking price — in terms of draft pick compensation — is relatively low, it wouldn’t hurt to take a swing on Wentz’s perceived potential at this point in his career.
For what it’s worth, Benjamin also listed the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Commanders as other “favorite” landing spots for the beleaguered Wentz this offseason, should the Colts move on.