PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger is set to retire from the Pittsburgh Steelers after the team made the playoffs with two wins their final two regular season games.
Where does Pittsburgh go from here?
It's not an easy question when you've had one starting quarterback for the past 18 seasons.
It's especially not easy when you need to find someone to lead one of the winningest teams in NFL history, a team that hasn't had a losing season since 2003.
On the Locked On Podcast Network's flagship show, Locked On Today, Christopher Carter (host of the Locked On Steelers podcast) joined the show to give his thoughts on what the Steelers might do this offseason to replace Ben Roethlisberger. The answer may not be what you'd expect.
SUBSCRIBE: The Locked On Today podcast hosted by Peter Bukowski gets you caught up every morning on the biggest stories in sports without taking up your free time.
While there has been some expectation the Steelers would make a splash and go after Aaron Rodgers (if he indeed decides to leave Green Bay this offseason) or Russell Wilson (if he indeed decides to leave Seattle this offseason) or maybe even some other potential options in Derek Carr (if Vegas were to bring in someone else) or Jameis Winston (if the Saints didn't try to bring him back), Carter said on Locked On Today he doesn't see Pittsburgh going those routes.
While Carter says Tomlin has acknowledged that backup quarterbacks Mason Rudolph nor Dwayne Haskins have showed they've earned starting roles, they will compete for it this offseason.
"The Steelers are pretty much making it clear they're not going to make a giant move to go get another quarterback because this team is far from just one quarterback from putting themselves back in as a Super Bowl contender," Carter said. "They want to reinvest in the offensive line, they want to reinvest in the defense."
SUBSCRIBE to the Locked On Steelers podcast, your daily podcast covering all things Pittsburgh Steelers. Free and available on all platforms
Carter said the Steelers will have about $50 million in cap space when Roethlisberger's retirement is complete. Some other impending moves could put the Steelers over $60 million in space.
"I don't see them using that to go get Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson or Derek Carr," Carter said. "I see them using that to say let's grab maybe a Terron Armstead (Saints offensive tackle), let's grab maybe a J.C. Jackson (Patriots cornerback). The Steelers are actually going to be real bidders for the first time in who knows how long. They're probably going to try to rebuff the rest of the roster."
Carter says the Steelers will likely sign a veteran quarterback on the market, draft a quarterback that falls to them at some point in the NFL Draft and then have those two, Rudolph and Haskins battle it out for the starting role.
"This team's going to be about running the football and defense next year," he said.
Carter says 2021 first round pick Najee Harris proved he will be a tremendous asset for the Steelers moving forward as he was the fourth-leading rusher in the NFL in his rookie season despite offensive line issues.
SUBSCRIBE to the Locked On NFL podcast, a daily podcast covering league-wide news, rumors and more. Free and available on all platforms