Steelers Named A ‘Likely’ Landing Spot For QB Kirk Cousins If Traded

Kirk Cousins, Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to embark on a new era in 2022. Long-time starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to announce his retirement this offseason, meaning the Steelers will need a new starter heading into a season for the first time since 2004 when Roethlisberger replaced an injured Tommy Maddox and the rest is history.

Roethlisberger had a Hall of Fame career with the black and gold, but he has been a shell of himself the last few seasons. Injuries began adding up, which sapped his arm strength and ability to push the ball down the field consistently.

While it will be emotional saying goodbye to one of the greatest players in franchise history, it is something that the team could benefit from. Bringing in an upgrade a the quarterback position could enable the Steelers to be contenders again in 2022.

Fixing the offensive line is key, but this is an offense littered with weapons. Najee Harris at running back, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool at wide receiver and Pat Freiermuth at tight end.

Defensively, there are stars at every level. This is a championship-worthy defense, especially if they add a few pieces to help shore up their run-stuffing ability, which was curiously absent throughout the season.

Now, the team just needs a quarterback to wrap it all up. Could Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings be the upgrade they need?

According to Chad Graff of The Athletic, who covers the Vikings, the Steelers are one of the likeliest landing spots for Cousins this offseason should he be traded. While Cousins may not be on the same level as Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, other veterans that could be on the move this offseason, he would be significantly cheaper to acquire.

Given the $35 million that Cousins is owed and the $45 million cap hit that comes along with him, Minnesota cannot expect to get a haul in return for him. Graff referenced the Alex Smith trade in 2018 that landed him in Washington as the framework of a deal the Vikings could look to pull off.

Minnesota hasn’t been able to get over the hump with Cousins leading the way, but a big reason for that was the performance of their defense. Right as Cousins and the offense finally figure things out, the defense has bottomed out the last two seasons.

Given the price it will be to acquire him, it makes sense that the Steelers are named as a likely landing spot. Pittsburgh has some other holes to fill on the roster and would be afforded the chance to do so if they upgrade the quarterback position without exhausting all of their assets.