The 2021 NFL season hasn’t gone the way that the Pittsburgh Steelers have planned. While the team has had some bright spots, it’s largely been a disappointing campaign — proven by their 5-5-1 record.
One of the biggest reasons behind Pittsburgh’s lack of success is that Ben Roethlisberger has begun looking his age. He’s just not the signal-caller that he once was and a lot of signs are pointing to him retiring at the end of the season. That means the Steelers will need a new starting quarterback in 2022. According to Bovada, Dwayne Haskins — one of Roethlisberger’s backups — is favored to take over the starting job next season at +185 odds.
A former first-round selection, Haskins has played 16 career NFL games (13 starts), with all of them coming when he was a member of Washington. The 24-year-old completed 60.1% of his passes in those games for 2,804 passing yards and 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Those stats aren’t exactly impressive, so why would the Steelers want to make him their 2022 starter?
Well, the only Steelers QB signed through 2022 is Mason Rudolph, who hasn’t impressed that much either. Meanwhile, Haskins is a restricted free agent this offseason, so Pittsburgh has some control over his future. He’s also only 24 years old, so there’s more than enough time to turn his career around. The Steelers haven’t thrown him into a game yet this year for a reason and maybe that’s because they’re saving him to be ready for the starting job next season.
Only time will tell if Haskins can prove why he was a first-round draft pick in the first place.
2022 Pittsburgh Steelers Starting QB Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Thursday, December 2
- Dwayne Haskins (+185)
- Mason Rudolph (+250)
- Aaron Rodgers (+750)
- Russell Wilson (+750)
- Ben Roethlisberger (+950)
- Carson Strong (+1500)
- Jimmy Garoppolo (+1600)
- Matt Corral (+2000)
- Marcus Mariota (+2000)
- Malik Willis (+2000)
- Sam Howell (+2000)
- Tyrod Taylor (+2500)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (+2500)
Mason Rudolph Starting QB Odds
At +250 odds, Mason Rudolph has the second-best shot at being the Steelers No. 1 quarterback next season. That wouldn’t be the first time that he’s taken over for ‘Big Ben.’ Rudolph started eight games for the injured Roethlisberger during the 2019 NFL season, going 5-3 while recording 1,765 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Those aren't the worst numbers, however, Rudolph hasn’t shown much improvement since then.
Rudolph will also be 27 years old next season, so he may not get any better than he is now. If the Steelers want to build for the future, he may not necessarily be the right guy to build around. That isn’t to say that he can’t be the starter for a transition period, however, if there are better options out there, Pittsburgh will likely go after them.
Nevertheless, Rudolph is under contract for just over $4 million in 2022, so there’s a very real possibility that he could see some starting time next year.
Steelers QB Odds: Rodgers, Wilson in the Mix
Several seasons ago, it would’ve been tough imagining Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson playing anywhere other than Green Bay and Seattle, respectively. Fast forward to 2021 and both quarterbacks have been having issues with their respective team’s management. With Rodgers and Wilson wanting to play for organizations that’ll provide them with weapons, both men have +750 odds to be the Steelers starting quarterback next season.
All you have to do is look at Wilson and Rodgers’ resumes to see how they’d easily be upgrades over Haskins, Rudolph or Roethlisberger (at his current age). Wilson’s name has been involved in trade rumors as of late, while Rodgers was rumored to be looking for a trade dating back to the 2021 NFL Draft all the way back in April. Unless the Seahawks or Packers win Super Bowl 56, it’s hard to imagine either player staying with their team.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have a promising young team with attractive offensive talents such as Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and more. That’s certainly more options than Rodgers and Wilson have now, which could make Pittsburgh an attractive trade destination this offseason.