It’s that time of the year when rumors fly, and in the NFL, rumors are a given with so many teams trying to figure out their future at the quarterback spot.
The Indianapolis Colts made a deal last week for Carson Wentz, taking themselves out of the mix for a new passer. The Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams made a deal earlier this winter, and now Matt Stafford will be throwing out in Hollywood and Jared Goff in Motown.
So where does that leave the other teams around the NFL that still need quarterbacks? Great question, and two teams that have to figure that out are the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, two proud franchises that clearly don’t want to get caught with average throwers.
The Steelers are in a really tough spot. They are currently sitting with 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger, who last season was mentioned as a possible MVP candidate early in the year, only to have many die-hard Steelers fans call for the team to move on from “Big Ben” by the end of it.
Ben has a massive contract already set for 2021, as he’s due to make a $15 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2021 league year. The contract is also set to pay him a league-high cap hit of $41 million.
So what happens if the Steelers simply release Ben and move on to either Mason Rudolph or another QB on the market?
Well, there are other spots out there that could pick Roethlisberger up, and one such team that could take a chance on him is the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys still are looking to get Dak Prescott inked to a long-term deal, but as of now, that has not happened.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says that you never can tell, but there is a chance that Dallas could be a landing spot for Roethlisberger, should the Steelers decide to move on from him.
“The only potentially viable options, now that the Colts are spoken for, would seem to be these: Jets, Patriots, Texans (if they trade Deshaun Watson), Broncos, Raiders (if they trade Derek Carr, which seems highly unlikely), Cowboys (if they let Dak Prescott walk), Washington, Bears, Panthers, Saints, 49ers, and Seahawks (if they trade Russell Wilson, which seems highly unlikely),” Florio stated.
“That’s the broadest universe of arguably realistic possibilities. Even then, it’s hard to imagine a land rush emerging for a quarterback who will be 39 on March 2.”
Florio went on to say that Roethlisberger is more likely to be released than traded, as teams are well aware that the Steelers are in a very tough situation when it comes to the cap.
Roethlisberger has a base salary of only $4 million for next season, but that massive $41 million cap hit may eventually force the Steelers to move on.
The Steelers have a potential out this offseason by releasing Roethlisberger, but it would still cost the team more than $22 million in dead money. Still, that’s a lot better than $41 in cap.
“Ben reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play, and we told him quite frankly we have to look at this current situation. Art addressed that with Ben’s current cap number, some adjustment will have to be made,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said last week.
The Steelers have always been loyal to players, and Ben has helped the team win a pair of Super Bowls.
With that, they may have no choice but to move on, and if they do and the QB still wants to play in 2021, there are going to be options – count Dallas as one.