Ben Roethlisberger has not looked like a quarterback who is well on his way to Canton so far this season. Through four games for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he has thrown for 1,033 yards on 64-percent completions, with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
At 78.9, his quarterback rating is lower than any full season he’s had since 2006, his third in the league. His interception rate is in line with some of his good seasons, but his 2.4-percent touchdown rate would be his lowest mark ever, as would his current 6.1 yards per attempt.
After Sunday’s loss at the Green Bay Packers, some are starting to question whether Roethlisberger should still start for the Steelers, a team that always expects to be in Super Bowl contention. The team has Dwayne Haskins, a former first-round pick, on the roster, as well as Mason Rudolph.
ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum floated another available name if the Steelers are to make a move at the quarterback position: Cam Newton. There is no indication that the team is ready to move on from Big Ben, but if his play continues to disappoint, it may have to become a discussion.
.@RealTannenbaum has some advice for the Steelers 👀
"Go sign Cam Newton to a two-year deal. … When I'm negotiating with San Francisco and Green Bay in the offseason for Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Rodgers, I want as much leverage in that negotiation as possible." pic.twitter.com/OynNLFSL1O
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) October 5, 2021
Tannenbaum thinks Newton could be a stop-gap option, ahead of potential moves to try and land Aaron Rodgers or Jimmy Garoppolo, both of whom may be available in the offseason. He didn’t blow the doors off of the NFL in his one-year stint with the New England Patriots last year, but the Steelers have a much better group of weapons at wide receiver, and a dynamic young running back in Najee Harris.
Some Steelers fans are buying in to the idea already, with many bringing it up on Sunday, well before Tannenbaum mainstreamed the idea on ESPN today:
Steelers should call Cam Newton.
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) October 3, 2021
Steelers gotta bring in Cam Newton, trade for Gardner Minshew or see what they have in Dwayne Haskins. Season is over if not. Sorry
— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) October 3, 2021
Steelers desperately need a QB.
Will Cam Newton get the call?
— Ced® (@cedfunches) October 4, 2021
Cam Newton? Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers. Hey man, uh, you healthy? pic.twitter.com/MNFWvsSBq4
— Dylan Grace (@DylanGrace_10) October 3, 2021
More from the great Keyshawn Johnson on Steelers QB situation @937theFan: "I would have brought [Cam Newton] in as soon as he got cut…he can still play football."
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) September 30, 2021
The Steelers need to hit up Cam Newton immediately after this game
— Drizzi ☁️ (@DrizziWy) October 3, 2021
Steelers Fans.. how would you feel about signing Cam Newton? he’s a much better scheme fit for Matt Canada’s offense.
— chris 🎃 (@chrisburgh) October 5, 2021
With the OLINE the Steelers have, you need a QB who can move around. What do you do? Play Josh Dobbs? Call Cam Newton? They will never bench Ben, but you have to brainstorm about how you move forward.
— Peak Work Archie (@JoshHarris25) October 3, 2021
The Steelers offensive line has been a concern, but the more mobile Newton could also help take some pressure off, while Roethlisberger is a more or less a statue in the pocket at this point in his career.
The Steelers are 1-3, with all three AFC North rivals—the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals—sitting at 3-1 on the year.