Winston Or Wentz? The Steelers QB Search

February 25, 2022

As the Steelers are in search of Big Ben’s replacement, they may consider looking in free agency instead of the draft. The 2022 QB class is much weaker in years before and the Steelers have reason to look elsewhere. The Steelers may not want to spend years developing a rookie QB when they already have a lot of talent on the roster. Both Jameis Winston and Carson Wentz are solid QB candidates that are looking for a team.

Jameis Winston

Just two years ago, Jameis Winston was the 3rd-string quarterback for the Saints. One year ago, he started the first seven games for the Saints before suffering a torn ACL. Winston’s now a free agent and could be the Steeler’s target. In 2021, Winston led the Saints to a 5-2 start and put up some of the best numbers of his career. He had a 17-3 TD-INT ratio and had a 102.8 passer rating. Winston’s career passer rating average before 2021 was 86.9. With Winston’s stats adjusted for a 17-game season, he would’ve thrown for 41 touchdown passes.

If the Steelers pursue Winston, they’d be looking for a bridge quarterback. In 2019, Winston led the NFL in passing with 5,109 yards but came at the expense of a 33-30 TD-INT ratio. With running back Najee Harris looking to build for a strong second season, the Steelers wouldn’t be willing to give up that much volume to Winston. The Steelers would offer Winston a one-year contract and look further to the 2023 NFL Draft Class to find their franchise quarterback.

2021 Jameis Winston Signing: New Orleans Offers: 1-year deal worth $12 million

2022 Jameis Winston Potential Signing: Pittsburgh Offers: 1-year deal worth $9 million

Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz had a season in 2021 that seemingly erased the bad memories of his 2020 season in Philadelphia. Wentz recorded a 27-7 TD-INT ratio, 3,563 passing yards, and a 94.6 passer rating. The Colts finished 9-8 and were just shy of making the playoffs. Carson Wentz had two disappointing final games when the Colts lost a winnable home game to the Raiders and were upset by the Jaguars in Week 18. Had Carson Wentz won those final two games and qualified for the playoffs as the 5-seed, the Colts wouldn’t be seeking a trade partner for him in the 2022 offseason.

The Colts would likely want similar trade value to what they gave up to get him in 2021 from the Eagles. Wentz had a satisfactory performance last season and is valued at the same as he once was. Carson Wentz’s MVP-caliber performance in 2017 is long gone and the Steelers won’t be receiving the talent that he once possessed. The Colts lack a first-round pick in the 2022 draft and the Steelers may be able to negotiate a good trade.

2021 Carson Wentz Trade:

Philadelphia receives: 2021 3rd Round Pick (84th Overall) and 2022 Conditional 2nd Round Pick (16th Overall)

Indianapolis Receives: Carson Wentz

2022 Carson Wentz Potential Trade:

Indianapolis Receives: 2022 1st Round Pick (20th Overall) and 2023 3rd Round Pick

Pittsburgh Receives: Carson Wentz and 2022 2nd Round Pick (48th Overall)

When the 2022 Draft is in progress, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, Malik Willis, or Sam Howell could already be off the board. The Steelers may have to consider all draft and non-draft options at quarterback.