Steelers Could Pursue Colts QB Carson Wentz to Replace Ben Roethlisberger

The Pittsburgh Steelers have probably been dreading this moment for a long time. The front office must now attempt to replace Ben Roethlisberger, who spent his entire 18-year NFL career with the franchise. Many people are speculating who Mike Tomlin and company will turn to in 2022. Carson Wentz is a name that’s gaining some traction.

Wentz was seemingly enjoying a bounce-back season with the Indianapolis Colts until things came crashing down toward the end of the season. The North Dakota State product appears to be on the way out in Indy, setting up a potential marriage with the Steelers.

The Steelers are preparing for life after Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger was the heart and soul of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization throughout his career. He made six Pro Bowls, led the league in passing twice, and helped the franchise win two Super Bowls. Replacing him will be difficult, as he left big shoes to fill.

The Steelers front office is honestly a year late in their quarterback search. Big Ben’s decline showed in his last couple of seasons. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh didn’t account for the offensive line being inconsistent on top of Roethlisberger’s struggles.

The biggest question facing the front office heading into the 2022 offseason is who the starting quarterback will be moving forward.

Rumors have been swirling since Roethlisberger announced his retirement. Some believe Pittsburgh could be in play for a splash trade for a big name like Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers. Others suggest the Steelers could move forward with a quarterback already on the roster, either Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins Jr.

A new name has emerged as a potential candidate to take over in 2022 — Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts.

Carson Wentz could be the next starting QB in Pittsburgh

Colts QB Carson Wentz drops back for a pass; Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in action against the Ravens
Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts in action against the Raiders | Justin Casterline/Getty Images; Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back for pass against the Ravens | Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

It will be interesting to see how the Pittsburgh Steelers approach their quarterback search in the offseason. Head coach Mike Tomlin said “all options” are on the table, per ESPN‘s Brooke Pryor. The team could certainly go in a number of directions.

According to Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, the Steelers are one of the favorites to land Indianapolis Colts signal-caller Carson Wentz.

“Wentz offers some traits of a younger Ben,” said Benjamin. “And his arrival wouldn’t preclude them from drafting a QB. They’re also built to play like Wentz’s Colts did in 2021, leaning on the run and defense.”

Benjamin is right. The makeup of the current Steelers roster is one suitable for Wentz. The 29-year-old has had ups and downs throughout his career, and he’s never been an elite quarterback.

Pittsburgh could potentially have a dominant run game behind running back Najee Harris. He broke Franco Harris’ Steelers rookie rushing record, finishing with 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. If the front office revamps the offensive line, Harris could take the next step in 2022.

Wentz has good mobility in the pocket, similar to a young Ben Roethlisberger. Perhaps, that could draw the top brass to him, as he’s a better option than what’s already on the roster.

Why things didn’t work out with the Colts

After five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Carson Wentz got traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for multiple draft picks. He failed put a stranglehold on the starting quarterback job in Philadelphia, and the fresh start in Indy appeared to be a good thing.

The Colts got off to a slow start, losing its first three games of the season. Frank Reich’s squad went through the ebbs and flows of a season but ultimately got to a point where they could play their way into the playoffs. Running back Jonathan Taylor played like an MVP for most of the year and carried the team alongside the defense.

Indianapolis entered Week 18 with a 9-7 record. All the team had to do was defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars to clinch a playoff berth. Easy enough, right? Well, the Colts didn’t get the memo. They ultimately laid an egg, falling to the worst team in the NFL, 26-11.

Carson Wentz saved one of his worst performances of the season for last. He completed just 17 of 29 pass attempts for 185 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. While the loss wasn’t solely on the quarterback, folding in a must-win scenario left a bad taste in the mouths of people in the front office, including general manager Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay.

If the Colts cannot find a trade partner for the sixth-year quarterback, they could release him. That would open the door for the Steelers to land their replacement (at least temporary) for Ben Roethlisberger.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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