Steelers Open to QBs Outside of Rudolph, Haskins After Ben Roethlisberger Retirement

Adam WellsJanuary 28, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) before an NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on Dec 26, 2021 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Needing to find a new starting quarterback for the first time in 18 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to keep their options open this offseason. 

Steelers owner Art Rooney II told reporters on Friday the team "will explore other options" outside of the organization. 

"We won't close any doors," he said. "We're early in the process. We have Mason [Rudolph] and [Dwayne] Haskins already on the roster, and they'll compete."

Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday in a video posted on Twitter. 

BigBen7.com @_BigBen7

A message from Ben:<a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SteelersNation?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SteelersNation</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThankYou?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThankYou</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HereWeGo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveAndHonor?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LoveAndHonor</a> <a href="https://t.co/pUbKGO1nUs">pic.twitter.com/pUbKGO1nUs</a>

Roethlisberger has been Pittsburgh's starting quarterback since being drafted No. 11 overall in 2004. He led the franchise to 12 playoff appearances and two Super Bowl titles during his 18-year career. 

Rudolph has plenty of experience in the Steelers offense, though he doesn't have much success. The 26-year-old is 5-4-1 in 10 career starts with 2,366 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 61.5 completion percentage over 384 attempts. 

Haskins is a wild card in this scenario. He is just three years removed from being the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Football Team. The Ohio State alum threw for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 16 appearances for the Football Team. 

Pittsburgh signed Haskins in January 2021 after he was released by Washington. He didn't appear in a game for the Steelers this season, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the team plans to put an original-round restricted free-agent tender on him. 

The tender would require any team that signs Haskins to give the Steelers its first-round pick in the 2022 draft. 

Jameis Winston is arguably the best free-agent quarterback who will be available this offseason. Another possibility for the Steelers is the trade market, though it's unclear what the status of top-tier starters like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers is with their current teams.

The Steelers own the No. 20 pick in the 2022 NFL draft if they are interested in any of the quarterbacks in this class.