Steelers' Top Trade Targets Entering 2022 NFL Offseason

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2022

Steelers' Top Trade Targets Entering 2022 NFL Offseason

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers need to figure out how they will address their quarterback vacancy.

    Pittsburgh can go after a free-agent quarterback, it could select a promising player in the 2022 NFL draft or it can approach the trade market.

    The trade market may be the most competitive it has ever been since Jimmy Garoppolo and potentially Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson could move over the next few months.

    Mike Tomlin's team has competition from throughout the league for the top trade targets because of the vacancies in Tampa Bay and New Orleans, among others.

    The Steelers should still approach the trade market with their best intentions, and that could lead to some intriguing proposals.

    A quarterback should be the No. 1 trade target, but the Steelers could also look for help for their new signal-caller through that mechanism as well .

Jimmy Garoppolo

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Jimmy Garoppolo makes the most sense from a quarterback trade perspective.

    Garoppolo is available because the San Francisco 49ers are moving on to Trey Lance.

    The 49ers should try to move Garoppolo to the best possible scenario, and Pittsburgh could fit that role.

    The Steelers need a Ben Roethlisberger replacement, and they reside in a different conference than San Francisco. That could be an appealing spot for the 49ers over Tampa Bay, New Orleans or elsewhere in the NFC.

    San Francisco may not want Garoppolo to stand in its way in its chase for the top spot in the conference.

    Pittsburgh would benefit from bringing in an experienced option at quarterback in its attempt to keep pace with the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

    If the Steelers add a rookie quarterback, it may take a year or two for that player to get up to speed in the NFL. With Garoppolo, the Steelers would add a player with Super Bowl experience who has spent plenty of time in the postseason. That would be a valuable commodity as it looks to remain competitive in the AFC.

Aaron Rodgers

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    This is the why-not option for the Steelers.

    Aaron Rodgers could be on the way out of the Green Bay Packers, and a number of teams would line up to make a deal if that happens.

    Rodgers just won his fourth NFL Most Valuable Player award, and he would be an upgrade over 95 percent of the quarterbacks in the league.

    Pittsburgh should at least drop a line to the Packers front office to see whether they would be interested in making a deal.

    The Steelers may be at a disadvantage compared to the Denver Broncos since former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is the new head coach there. A Rodgers move to Denver makes sense, but Pittsburgh should still try because he would be the best option on the market if made available.

    If that does not come to fruition, the Steelers could land Garoppolo or select one of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL draft, but they should at least try to bring in Rodgers.

Brandin Cooks

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

    Pittsburgh might have to rearrange its wide receiver room as well for the 2022 season.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster is set to become a free agent, and Diontae Johnson's and Chase Claypool's flaws were evident over the past two seasons.

    Johnson has had a problem with drops, while Claypool went through some issues in 2021, including a tumble in touchdown production from nine to two.

    Pittsburgh could inquire about Brandin Cooks' availability with the Houston Texans to bring in a veteran No. 1 wide receiver, especially if it lands a young quarterback to replace Roethlisberger.

    The Steelers should surround a young signal-caller with as much talent as possible to ease the transition to the starting lineup. A rookie wideout may be the better choice if a veteran quarterback is brought in so that Pittsburgh does not trade away all of its draft picks.