Steelers Backup Quarterback Situation Will Be Interesting To Watch Play Out

The Pittsburgh Steelers will certainly be faced with a backup quarterback dilemma next season as both Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are once again unrestricted free agents. While there is a good chance that one of the two will be brought back, you have to think that the position will be addressed via the draft or in free agency. The problem with both of those scenarios, however, is that the talent pool is thin in each of them.

The quarterback draft class this year is not very exciting at all, and if you have been following the paths of mid-round prospects; Landry Jones, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Bray and Zac Dysert, you know where I am coming from. All four, in my opinion, need some serious work before even being considered reliable backup quality at the NFL level.

The free agent market doesn\’t look much better as we inch closer towards the free agent signing period. I have listed the names of the unrestricted types that will be available, and as you can clearly see, the pickings are not good. Both Matt Moore and Chase Daniel are intriguing, yet unsexy options, and there is always Brian Hoyer, who spent a few weeks on the Steelers roster this past season when both Ben Roethlisberger and Leftwich were sidelined by injuries.

There are likely to be a few salary cap casualties around the league this offseason in the form of Kevin Kolb and Matt Cassel, but the Steelers will not want to pay much for either of the two should that indeed happen. The Seahawks might be looking to unload Matt Flynn, but trading for him means that you take on his current contract that includes a $5.25 million base salary in 2013.

The Steelers will most likely wait a long while before making a decision on Batch and Leftwich and will need some mini camp arms for the spring. You can expect that a quarterback or two will be signed to a futures contract prior to the draft, but none of those, whoever they end up being, will have a good shot at making the 53 man roster. They are on the street right now for a reason.

With all of the above stated, this position should be fun to watch play out leading up to the draft and beyond.

2013 Unrestricted Free Agent Quarterbacks

Matt Moore
Derek Anderson
Chase Daniel
Rex Grossman
Tarvaris Jackson
Josh Johnson
Josh McCown
Luke McCown
Jordan Palmer
Drew Stanton
Tyler Thigpen
David Carr
Kellen Clemens
Bruce Gradkowski
Matt Leinart
Brian Hoyer
Jason Campbell
Brady Quinn

  • Garrett Hunt

    Imo a project is fine. They need a QB of the future instead of now anyway. If the running game improves next season they can rely on that and have Todd Haley be creative in the passing game.

  • steeltown

    It all depends on whether they bring back Charlie or not.. if Charlie is re-signed for one more year, look for them to bring in a young guy in the way of draft or undrafted to groom to be #2 and sit under Batch’s wing for a year. If Batch is not re-signed, then I bet they do bring in a FA veteran guy mentioned above AND a rookie via the draft or undrafted

  • steeltown

    I could see Matt Moore or Brian Hoyer being brought in to camp to compete

  • Clint Martin

    Hey Dave do you remember when Steelers used a 5th round pick on Omar Jacobs from Bowling Green? I don’t think picking one of these players in this years draft for the future would hurt this team. You are correct about QB’s in the draft this year no clear blue chip kind of guy. these guys all need work, but when don’t they.
    Steelers draft players in the first round that don’t start for 2 seasons.

    Taking a Qb in this year’s draft is a must they would be a 3rd string I think Jones and Bray could go if called out.
    The free agent list there are about 8 players I would rather have than Batch and Leftwich some young legs.OK I looked at the list again maybe not 8 players.

  • RW

    If they could somehow land Chase Daniel, I’d approve.

  • steeltown

    I would too, but I bet the Saints offer him another one year deal to backup Brees

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I would like to see Chase Daniels but the price tag IMO will be to high…Moore would be sufficient and wouldnt mind us drafting Nassib from Syracuse but doubt if we sign a FA we would draft a QB….UDFA but not in the draft.

  • LucasY59

    Hopefully Manuel did not increase his draft stock too much, I thought he could be a good pick in the 4th/5th round, but with the way he played yesterday and the value of QB’s especially with this drafts low QB talent may move him up to the 2nd or 3rd where IMO the Steelers have too many other needs to use a pick on a backup QB (I know Ben gets hurt alot, but a non 1st round rookie QB isnt likely to win many games)

  • steeltown

    Say that to Russell Wilson or Kirk Cousins.. but I see your point. ( I really wish we wouldve landed Cousins last draft, Steelers were interested)

    I do think EJ saw his stock rise some, not just from his play but rather lack there of from the other QB prospects. I could see a Team going after him in the 3rd Rd, especially with the play of the recently drafted ‘mobile’ QB’s like RGIII, Wilson, Kaepernick etc.

  • grw1960

    I don’t follow QBs much, but I agree it is a need for the Steelers and I hope they find a small school Surprise in their box of cracker jax…. Because there does not appear to be any good mid round back up QB choices in this draft class. Best ones I see are Scott and Rogers. Rogers might make a good short term back up his arm strength is in question ,,, but his arn strength should be as good as Charlie Batches since he is younger..

  • Jake Neutzling

    I still think Dysert is the best QB in the draft and by some miracle he fell to the 5th round I would take him… But he’ll be gone in the third.

  • LucasY59

    I think Cousins and Wilson were taken later because there were a lot more quality QB’s last year and they proved that they could/should’ve been taken sooner (I thought the Steelers had a chance at Cousins last year and was suprised by the Redskins taking him after they already picked RGIII) this year they would be 1st or 2nd rd for sure because the QB’s this year are not as good.

    Colin Klein might be a sleeper/late round pick that looks to be available in the 6th/7th. He’s dropped a lot since he lost the Heisman to Manziel and he looks like he needs some time to develop/prove that he was worthy of a Heisman nomination (he could also turn into a Heisman QB bust that never makes the transition from college to pro ball) I would be ok with the Steelers taking him in the 7th if they dont get Manuel or Dysert

  • steeltown

    Good point about the amount of quality QB prospects.

    I almost dont care who they select, Dysert, Klein even Colby Cameron, I just hope they make a move on someone in the mid-late Rds. I trust the Steelers (for the most part) anyone is better then Leftwich at this point and Batch is not much more than a #3 at 39yrs

  • Maurice_hill_district

    It could be worse, be glad we have a starting QB becaus otherwise we wuld have to reach in 1st rd for any QB. The word last year was the reason for last draft teams desperatly wanted up high & Redskins gave up so much to get up there to get RG3, is they saw there was not likely to be any franchise QB coming out the next year. Whether that turns out true doesnt matter for us. Fact is, regardless, 1st rd picks for QBs are expensiv gambles.

    The last time we needed to draft a starting QB, we were lucky 3 were coming out that draft. Knew PeytonManning wuld be gone at #1 but we got to choose among the other 2 QBs at our turn & picked Ben.

    Our backup QBs situation now is really shaky. Counting on Charlie but he does not hav nuff arm strength or durability. Ben reverts to his style which will make Ben miss 6 games next season with major injuries. But at least we have a franchise QB, some teams dont. Better to be us than the annual Dolphins/Browns/Chiefs etc every year.

  • SteelSpine

    That’s my thoughts on it too.

  • SteelSpine

    Your comment Steelers QBs dont start for 2 seasons rang a bell because that described Neil O’Donnel, & the decades before him of QBs we drafted after Bradshaw: Malone, Stout, Bubby, Neil. Then Ben broke the mold for Steelers starting at qb during his first season, & that was about when most teams started expecting first round qbs to start in their first season in NFL.

    I agree veteren qbs are available to be our #2 who would be better than Leftwich, probably better than Batch too at this age of Batch. I agree with vbarzey above though, that there are enough veteren qbs to pick from that we dont need to take an awful one. Beware though Rooneys tend to only take whichever veteren backup qb is cheapest.

    I agree too that we will draft a #3 qb. For a developmental qb though, I’ll be the first to mention Jerrod Johnson on this thread, LOL. Seems to me JJ would be a no-brainer cheap #3 instead of spending a draft pick on an unknown. Apparently the Steelers lost all interest in JJ, since they didnt try to lure him back when we had no qbs left. So I guess there’s no point in wanting JJ back.

  • SteelSpine

    Yes those 2 scenerios seem clear to me too.

  • steeltown

    I think by that time JJ was under contract with a UFL Team, but I agree, if he’s available I suspect he’ll be in camp to atleast compete, same could be said Brian Hoyer

  • Mike Carroll

    I think Matt Moore would be a nice choice based on age, experience, and
    ability. But, I wonder if he will be cheap enough to sign since he
    appears to be the best player on the list of UFAs.

  • steeltown

    On the Steelers website today one headline said, “Steelers sign Moore” I got excited, only to find out they meant WR Kashif Moore… total let down

  • Mike Carroll

    LOL. Now that is funny.

  • chad shrader

    I hope the steelers bring back qb charlie batch

  • chad shrader

    I think the steelers should draft geno smith

  • chad shrader

    Lets go Wvu