Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely on the way out. Did the team just play his replacement?
Should the Steelers wish to trade for a potential Big Ben replacement, rather than take their chances in the draft, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins makes a lot of sense.
Cousins is quietly having a very good year. The Vikings signal-caller is on his way to another Pro-Bowl campaign, throwing for 3,569 yards, 27 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Pittsburgh is expected to have near $35 million in cap space this coming offseason, especially with Roethlisberger coming off the books along with several other high-profile players. Should the Steelers choose not to start over at the position, but instead acquire a player with experience, Cousins makes sense for multiple reasons.
Steelers rumors: Is Kirk Cousins a Big Ben replacement?
ESPN’s Brooke Pryor gave her thoughts on the theory last week:
“Two other tradable veteran quarterbacks to keep an eye on are Carr and Cousins, who both have one year left on their deals. Both the Raiders and the Vikings appear at a crossroads with their respective quarterbacks and coaching staffs. The Raiders (6-5) already fired Jon Gruden, while Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman are approaching the hot seat with the Vikings sitting at 5-6. If ownership decides to start fresh in either situation, the Steelers could make a play for Cousins or Carr, although Cousins is the most expensive of the bunch.”
The Vikings don’t seem too attached to Cousins or his contract, and could prefer to go in a younger direction at the position should they miss the playoffs and rebuild the roster. Heck, Mike Zimmer might not be long for Minnesota, either.
Minnesota drafted Kellen Mond just last year. Depending on how the team feels about him as a replacement for Cousins, a plan could already be in place.
Roethlisberger’s fourth-quarter comebacks of late have Steelers fans wondering if moving on from him is really the right play, but Ben isn’t a quarterback destined to age well. He’s grown more stagnant in the pocket over the years, and isn’t consistent enough to lead a winning team.
Cousins does have significant questions attached to him as well, but with the Steelers receiving corps it’s not outlandish to think he could be about as productive in Pittsburgh as he is in Minnesota.
It’s surely something for Kevin Colbert to mull over sooner rather than later.