The Steelers are in a bit of a pickle. They’re sitting at the top of the AFC North with an 8-2 record, but they have to face two potential future Hall of Famers in Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield.
The lamar jackson browns is a problem that has been present for a while. The Steelers’ Massive $14 Million Dilemma Is Opening the Door for Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield to Take Control of the AFC North.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently struggling. That fact cannot be avoided.
Despite a stunning Week 1 win against the Buffalo Bills, Mike Tomlin‘s usually reliable squad failed to repeat the feat in Weeks 2 and 3. They were defeated 26-17 by a Las Vegas Raiders team headed by Derek Carr, and then looked powerless against Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and the rest of the Cincinnati Bengals.
This year, a lot of strong clubs are off to a poor start (the Kansas City Chiefs are also 1-2, for example). What’s more worrisome about the Steelers’ slow performance is that it’s mainly due to bad quarterback play. According to at least one NFL writer, the Steelers are becoming more concerned about the situation.
The Steelers’ greatest problem is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
By November, both the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger will regret giving it another go, as I predicted in the summer. I might have been a few minutes early.
September 26, 2023 — ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk)
Many people wondered if the Steelers will make a long-awaited quarterback move this summer. In March, Ben Roethlisberger turned 39 years old, and there were only a few starting-caliber quarterbacks on the market.
All four quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater, were dealt to new clubs. In addition, five rookie quarterbacks were chosen in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Instead, the Steelers chose to rely on their own veteran, restructuring Roethlisberger’s deal to retain him on the roster for another season at $14 million. To put things in perspective, the Steelers were 12-4 last season and won the AFC North. Following such a successful regular season, it’s fair to resist tinkering with things too much.
Fast forward to 2023, and worries about Roethlisberger’s declining performance are surfacing in the Steel City.
Roethlisberger is off to the worst start of his career.
Ben Roethlisberger has passed for 98 yards on 24 attempts.
September 26, 2023 — Marcus Mosher (@Marcus Mosher)
Even with the Steelers’ Week 1 win against Buffalo, Roethlisberger has had a terrible start to the season. Through three games, his QBR (quarterback rating) is at 35.5, which would be a career low for the future Hall of Fame gunslinger if he keeps this up.
Roethlisberger has thrown an interception and fumbled twice this season. It’s fair to say that things aren’t looking good for the Steelers’ longstanding franchise quarterback.
Roethlisberger is now dealing with a pec strain, which makes his ability to play excellent football even more difficult.
Alarm bells are already ringing in the Pittsburgh front office, despite the fact that it is still early in the season. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the club is addressing its quarterback’s faults in private.
Even Roethlisberger’s most ardent fans inside the Steelers organization have quietly expressed worry, as the future Hall of Fame quarterback has struggled with injury for many years and his production has dwindled. Roethlisberger, who accepted a salary cut to stay with the Steelers until 2023, also doesn’t have anything like the supporting cast he had during his prime.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora
The Steelers are allowing Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield to seize control of the AFC North.
Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers | Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The Steelers have been the team to beat in the AFC North for the last decade or so. The Baltimore Ravens have had their moments of brilliance, but Pittsburgh has always been a top competitor. Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has never had a losing season in his 14-year NFL tenure.
However, with the Steelers’ quarterback regressing, Pittsburgh’s dominance may be coming to an end. Both the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns have dazzling franchise quarterbacks, and both are trying to establish themselves as AFC playoff contenders.
Even the Bengals seem to be moving in a better way than the Steelers, with Burrow finally healthy after an early ACL injury.
The problem for Pittsburgh is that they won’t be able to resolve this problem anytime soon. They’ll pay Roethlisberger $14 million whether he wants it or not, since the dead cap to release him this season ($36.2 million) is too much to justify.
The Steelers will have to wait until 2023 to make a quarterback change, barring a miracle comeback from “Big Ben.” This gives the Ravens and Browns plenty of time to consolidate their grip on the AFC North.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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The afc north standings is a blog post that discusses the Steelers’ massive $14 million dilemma, which is opening the door for Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield to take control of the AFC North.
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