At one point, it was unclear whether or not Rodgers would even play in 2021. Even though he re-joined the team, the tension still exists between the nine-time Pro Bowler and the Packers’ front office. The Pittsburgh Steelers must have serious doubts about Ben Roethlisberger‘s future as their starting quarterback.
The Steelers would be wise to make a run at Rodgers in the offseason.
Aaron Rodgers admires Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and the city of Pittsburgh
Aaron Rodgers was a guest on The Pat McAfee Show ahead of the Packers’ Week 4 matchup against the Steelers. McAfee lobbed an intriguing question to the Green Bay signal-caller, asking him about his feelings on the city of Pittsburgh as a whole.
“I’ve been around a lot of Pittsburgh people over the years, and I have loved my time with all of them,” said Rodgers. “It’s a great blue-collar town. There’s a lot of great people that live there. It’s got a lot of history, that city.
Rodgers also praised Mike Tomlin for his coaching abilities and the way he leads the Steelers.
I have a ton of respect for Mike [Tomlin]. He’s a fantastic coach. I love the way that he leads… the way he talks after the games. He always seems to keep things really even-keeled. It looks like he’s somebody that the players love playing for him.Aaron Rodgers
It’s no secret that the relationship between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers has soured. The 2021 offseason drama rivaled that of a reality television show.
Rodgers wanted the team to trade him, which general manager Brian Gutekunst was hesitant to do. He ripped the front office in the press conference after returning to Green Bay. He took exception with how some of the team’s core players were treated by the organization over the years.
The Packers prioritized drafting Jordan Love over surrounding their superstar quarterback with the necessary talent to win a championship. Even Rodgers’ favorite target, Davante Adams, could be out in 2022.
Clearly, Rodgers thinks highly of Pittsburgh. The Steelers could be a surprise destination if both sides choose to go that route.
Rodgers and the Steelers could answer each other’s tough questions
On the other side of the field, the Steelers have serious issues on offense. Their offensive line is playing below the standard the team is accustomed to. Ben Roethlisberger is well past his prime and also seems to be holding this team back.
Pittsburgh’s other options at quarterback leave much to be desired, so benching Big Ben is an unlikely option unless he completely unravels. However, if he continues down this path, the team will have no choice but to look elsewhere after 2021.
Rodgers and the Steelers have big decisions to make after the season. If the stars align, Pittsburgh would be an excellent fit for the 17-year quarterback.
The Steelers have plenty of talent on defense, including T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Devin Bush, and Cameron Heyward. The offense features rookie running back Najee Harris and a talented trio of receivers.
The Steelers, historically, have built their roster through the draft and rarely pay top dollar for talent. They made an exception for T.J. Watt, who recently inked a lucrative $80 million deal.
Could they make another exception for Aaron Rodgers? It may be wise if they are in win-now mode.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger is a rare matchup
When the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers, it will mark just the third meeting between Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers won the regular season meeting, but Rodgers and the Packers won when the teams met in Super Bowl XLV. Outside of Tom Brady returning to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots, this may be the most intriguing matchup in Week 4.
Both players have been playing for a long time and are legends for their respective franchises. Yet, they’re currently at different stages in terms of ability.
Rodgers continues to play at an elite level, except for the season-opening blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. Roethlisberger is showing signs of wear and tear. He no longer has the mobility to make plays out of nothing, and his decision-making has been questionable.
Suppose Aaron Rodgers puts on a masterful show at home against Pittsburgh. In that case, he could be showing the Packers why they should respect him more and the Steelers what they could be if they join forces.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference