Not everyone has as much faith as the Pittsburgh Steelers do in Ben Roethlisberger. Some have little. And then, there's CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, who has zero.
In La Canfora's 2021 NFL Quarterback Tiers, the Steelers quarterback has a significant downfall from 2020. Roethlisberger went into last season ranked as a Tier 1: Bonafide franchise quarterback, but missed the cut this offseason.
"As for Big Ben," La Canfora wrote, reflecting on Roethlisberger's drop off, "well, the second half of last season was no fluke, either, and you are going to have to read a while before he resurfaces in this piece."
He's right. You will need to read for a while, as Roethlisberger doesn't re-appear until the sixth tier, "Good Luck."
"I could see the Steelers experimenting with a new QB by midseason," La Canfora wrote. "When you take that kind of paycut to stick around to try to go out on something other than the terms of that ugly playoff loss to the Browns, chances are things won't get much better. Offensive line looks shaky at best. Lack of mobility a big problem. I just don't see this going well and things have been trending down since 2019."
The Steelers' fallout did present questions around Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense by the end of the 2020 season. Still, the then-38-year-old threw for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns to 10 interceptions as the Steelers finished 12-3 in the regular season.
Roethlisberger is joined by Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold and Andy Dalton in the tier. It's the final set of quarterbacks before the unproven rookies and second-year players.
The Steelers don't feel the same as La Canfora. General manager Kevin Colbert said in his pre-draft press conference that Roethlisberger's decision to return set the momentum for guys like Vince Williams and JuJu Smith-Schuster to return.
"Ben Roethlisberger told us from the end of the season that it was his intention to be here," Colbert said, "and then for him to follow that up and be willing to adjust his pay to be able to not only keep himself here but give us the opportunity to have some other folks stay is very much appreciated, and I think it started a real positive offseason for us."
The Steelers have Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Josh Dobbs on the roster behind Roethlisberger. Rudolph just signed a one-year extension to keep him on the roster through 2022.