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Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Will Replace Ben Roethlisberger as the Team's Starting QB in 2022?

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

For the first time in 19 seasons, the Steelers will have a different starting quarterback following Roethlisberger's retirement

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the market for a new starting quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger announcing his retirement from the NFL on Thursday.

Related: Biggest Plays and Moments in Ben Roethlisberger's Hall of Fame Career

This is new territory for the Steelers, as Roethlisberger has started for the team since 2004 and there's not a clear-cut succession plan on the roster. Pittsburgh's roster features a couple of franchise players in linebacker T.J. Watt, running back Najee Harris and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward. With solid quarterback play, the Steelers will be back in the mix to win the AFC North and earn a trip to the playoffs.

Who could replace Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh next season? Below are some potential candidates through free agency, trade or the draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Will Replace Ben Roethlisberger as the Team's Starting QB in 2022?

Tier I - The Internal Favorites

Mason Rudolph
Rudolph likely has the best odds of any quarterback to take the first snap in Pittsburgh next season. He's worked as the backup to Roethlisberger and has started 10 games over the last three years.

Dwayne Haskins Jr.
Haskins was brought in as a developmental project for the Steelers and seems likely to return considering his status as a restricted free agent this offseason.

Tier II - Experienced or Veteran QBs That Could be Available 

Derek Carr
Carr has one season left on his contract. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Raiders going into 2022 and could be even more pending the hires of a head coach and general manager.

Kirk Cousins
The 2022 season marks the final year of Cousins' contract with the Vikings. If the Vikings decide to rebuild under a new general manager and coaching staff, Cousins could be available via trade.

Jimmy Garoppolo
Trey Lance is the future in San Francisco. Could the Steelers get Garoppolo without giving up too much in a trade?

Gardner Minshew
Jalen Hurts is entrenched as the starter in Philadelphia. Could the Eagles look to trade Minshew this offseason?

Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers would instantly make the Steelers a Super Bowl contender. Did Rodgers and the Packers patch up the differences for a return in '22? Or will he seek a new team?

Matt Ryan
Ryan was a potential trade target for the Steelers, but all signs point to the veteran returning to Atlanta in 2022.

Deshaun Watson
Legal concerns surrounded Watson in 2021 and it's unclear when those will be resolved. Also, the Texans are expected to ask for a hefty return for Watson through a trade.

Carson Wentz
Wentz struggled in late-season losses to Las Vegas and Jacksonville. Could the Colts decide to move on after one year?

Russell Wilson
Wilson's future in Seattle seems unsettled after the 2021 season. The rumor mill would suggest the Steelers aren't at the top of Wilson's list for a potential destination in a trade, but there should be some interest from both sides.

Other Names to Consider

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick would be a good veteran addition to a young QB room, but he missed nearly all of the 2021 season due to injury and might be looking for a guaranteed opportunity to start somewhere (something he probably wouldn't get in Pittsburgh).

Jameis Winston
Winston was signed to a one-year deal with the Saints prior to the 2021 season. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in October, and it's unclear what his future is in New Orleans.

Other Free-Agent QBs Who Could be Veteran Backup Additions
Teddy Bridgewater, Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, Trevor Siemian, Tyrod Taylor, and Mitchell Trubisky

Tier III - Options Through the Draft 

Instead of a quick fix through free agency, the Steelers could opt to fill their quarterback need via the draft. Whether that's in the first, second or third round, some of the top signal-callers should be on the list for Pittsburgh's draft board:

Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Sam Howell, North Carolina
Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Carson Strong, Nevada
Malik Willis, Liberty