Why Russell Wilson Replacing Ben Roethlisberger With the Pittsburgh Steelers Makes Perfect Sense
As the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football in Week 17, it looks more and more like the final game for Ben Roethlisberger at Heinz Field. The 18-year veteran hinted that this is most likely his last home game in Pittsburgh, ending a storied career with the Steelers.
So, as expected, the Steelers will be looking for a new quarterback. But is Russell Wilson an option for the Black and Yellow? In many ways, Wilson heading to Pittsburgh makes a ton of sense.
Ben Roethlisberger is set to hang up his cleats after this season
Going into the 2021 campaign, it also looked like this was it for Roethlisberger. It isn’t surprising to see this remain consistent given the way things have gone.
Roethlisberger is a shell of his old Pro Bowl self, although the Steelers as a team have a lot more options to iron out going into the 2022 season.
Nonetheless, Roethlisberger’s final home game against the Browns is one thing, and doing it with playoff hopes is another. A loss would entirely knock the Steelers out of the playoff picture while a victory would keep them alive but would have them needing help in Week 18.
Either way, the Steelers will need to find somebody to replace him at quarterback.
Russell Wilson could be the perfect replacement for Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh
As we know, the situation with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been a neverending story. From the offseason reports of him being unhappy to the struggles of Seattle during the season, questions continue to swirl around him.
Now, Wilson would make a ton of sense for the Steelers when Roethlisberger enters retirement.
For starters, head coach Mike Tomlin won’t want to start over and rebuild with a rookie quarterback such as Kenny Pickett. Tomlin wants to win now, especially after the disappointment the Steelers have caused the past two seasons.
As Ian Rapoport reported, Wilson hopes this isn’t the end of the road in Seattle. On the other hand, all signs point to a full-on rebuild in the Pacific Northwest even though Pete Carroll doesn’t want it, and maybe the Seahawks trade the franchise quarterback for a nice haul of picks or assets this offseason.
It is certainly plausible, and the Steelers would likely be destination No. 1. The Denver Broncos are another option, and while they have more assets to work with in a possible trade, the Steelers are arguably a more appealing landing spot. There is a long list of potential suitors, although some don’t make too much sense (such as the New York Giants).
Wilson would likely want to go a playoff contender, not a team with which he has to start over. So, the Steelers make a ton of sense in that aspect.
After signing T.J. Watt to a massive extension, not to mention Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris, and Chase Claypool on cheap deals, the time for the Steelers to push their chips in is now. More important, Wilson is a leader in the clubhouse. Replacing Roethlisberger will be challenging, but finding a leader such as Wilson would help patch things up while also giving excitement to the fan base.
Roethlisberger struggled mightily in 2021, and it is time for him to hang them up for good. Wilson has been up and down, but a lot of his struggles can be placed on the entire Seattle offense. Chris Carson has missed a lot of time. DK Metcalf had been a mixed bag until a three-touchdown performance in Week 17, and the list goes on and on.
If Wilson is done in Seattle, the Steelers need to pick up the phone and make an all-out push to land the talented quarterback.
Russell WIlson could help groom the next Steelers quarterback
Wilson to Pittsburgh would be an extraordinary situation. Not only would Wilson immediately put this team into the Super Bowl conversation in 2022, but he could also help groom the next quarterback for the Steelers.
Let’s say that the Steelers select Kenny Pickett, Carson Strong, or one of the other quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. They could stand on the sidelines, hold the clipboard, and learn valuable lessons from Wilson for a couple of seasons.
Wilson won’t be a free agent until 2024, giving him two seasons — at least — at the helm for the Steelers and giving the rookie signal-caller a couple of years of valuable experience.
It worked with Aaron Rodgers behind Brett Favre and Philip Rivers behind Drew Brees. It has worked before, and the Steelers could use Wilson’s advanced football I.Q. to groom the future face of the franchise, whoever it may be.
As the season draws closer to an end, the Wilson rumors will continue to pick up steam, even if the Seahawks quarterback hopes this isn’t the end in Seattle.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference