Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger walks off the field at the end of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 42-21. (AP Photo/Travis Heying)

Steelers Season Ends, QB Search Begins with Roethlisberger Retirement

Ben Roethlisberger had two touchdowns that are expected to be the last of his 18-year NFL career in the wildcard game Sunday. The quarterback would leave the Steelers holding numerous franchise records. The two-time Super Bowl champion also remains the youngest starting quarterback to ever win one.

After seeing their score doubled by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers left GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium with unfamiliar levels of uncertainty.

Roethlisberger’s impending retirement could leave the Steelers scrambling. With options in the draft and backup roster, however, the Steelers could go several ways to fill the vacancy.

Offseason Options After Roethlisberger

Barring a trade or a surprise signing, the Steelers’ next starter will be found in the draft. The team could also turn to either of the two quarterbacks on the roster. Head coach Mike Tomlin said both quarterbacks will have a chance to compete for the job.

Dwayne Haskins, the former college star and 2019 first round pick, has never thrown a regular season pass for the team since being released by the Washington Football Team in 2020. The Steelers could turn to Mason Rudolph, who held a record of 5-3 as the starter during Roethlisberger’s absence in 2019. Rudolph’s only start this season came during the team’s week-10 tie with the Detroit Lions.

Possible Picks

In a notably weak quarterback draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers hold the 20th pick.

Mel Kiper Jr.’s mock draft has Pittsburgh taking Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. Corral threw 20 touchdowns and five interceptions this season for the Rebels. The team went 10-3 before losing to Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Corral also finished seventh in Heisman voting.

Kiper’s mock draft had Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett going to the Saints at 18. But Pickett might be an option for the Steelers, which means he would continue his playing career at the same stadium he called home in college. Pickett threw 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season, finishing third in Heisman voting.

No matter who they choose, the Steelers will be in a flurry until they can lock down a new QB to replace Roethlisberger.

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