Ben Roethlisberger could have played his last game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. General manager Kevin Colbert has told the two-time Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterback that the team will “have to look at this current situation.” Roethlisberger’s current deal counts $41.25 million against the cap in 2021, and the Steelers will have to figure out if they want to pay him or not. If not, there are still some great landing spots for Ben Roethlisberger in a potential trade.
Roethlisberger will be due $15 million from the Steelers on the third day of the 2021 league year. If they plan to cut him, then it will likely be before that date. A Ben Roethlisberger trade would leave the team acquiring him on the hook for $19 million — a number that shouldn’t dissuade them.
Ben Roethlisberger landing spots | AFC
New England Patriots
There aren’t many coaches in the NFL more familiar with Roethlisberger than Bill Belichick. While the Patriots have got the better of the Steelers more often than not, including two AFC Championship Games, the opportunity to acquire a potential future Hall of Famer could appeal.
The Patriots regularly have one of the best offensive lines in the league. A move to New England could allow Big Ben to avoid taking hits in his age-39 season. The Patriots hold the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and would likely have to move up to get one of the top QBs. Bringing in a veteran (and a winner) would allow them to challenge for the playoffs and punt the decision for another year.
PFN Insider Benjamin Allbright reported that the Broncos could bring in a quarterback to compete with Drew Lock in December. Assuming that the Dallas Cowboys find a way to keep Dak Prescott for at least another year, a Ben Roethlisberger trade could be a more appealing option than any remaining free agent.
Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant would be an appealing young receiver corps for Roethlisberger to work with. Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler, and DaeSean Hamilton are also among the best depth options in the NFL. They would only improve with a reliable veteran QB, making this an attractive Ben Roethlisberger landing spot.
Ben Roethlisberger Landing Spots | NFC
Roethlisberger showed in 2020 that he could take advantage of favorable opportunities given to him by a dominant defense. The Bears have several pieces in place to be a contender. The combination of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles stopped them from reaching their potential, though.
Roethlisberger wouldn’t have the same weapons around him that he did in Pittsburgh, however. Also, Allen Robinson’s potential departure would worsen the situation. Still, he’d make the Bears competitive in a tough division. Having previously sent a pick to bring in Foles, a Ben Roethlisberger trade isn’t out of the question in this potential landing spot.
Washington Football Team
Alex Smith was THE feel-good story of the 2020 NFL season. As a quarterback, he held the team back, though. One of the team’s most impressive QB performances came with Taylor Heinicke in the Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Heinicke will likely still be on the team. However, a veteran like Ben Roethlisberger, who isn’t afraid to throw deep, could help an underrated receiver group headlined by Terry McLaurin. The ability to stretch the field would also help Antonio Gibson, the rookie running back who showed superstar potential, by allowing him to face lighter boxes.
San Francisco 49ers
It’s been a long time since the 49ers had above-average quarterback play. Alex Smith was the last QB of the team to make the Pro Bowl back in 2013. Colin Kaepernick had moments of superstardom, and Jimmy Garoppolo has shown glimpses. The Joe Montana/Steve Young succession was a long time ago, however.
The team made the Super Bowl a year ago despite Garoppolo rather than because of him. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the best offensive play-callers around. However, he has had to make way with Nick Mullens and C. J. Beathard far too often. A Ben Roethlisberger trade would allow the team to open up the playbook even in the twilight of his career.
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