Whenever a veteran free agent or possible trade candidate quarterback is discussed, the Pittsburgh Steelers are mentioned as a possible landing spot. It's not surprising. They're a playoff team with a lot of good players on the roster, but a major shortcoming at quarterback.

The Bears might be (I say will be) trading away Justin Fields and drafting a quarterback. The Broncos might (probably will be) moving on from Russell Wilson. And there are some appealing free agents, including Kirk Cousins and maybe even Joe Flacco. Could one of these five guys be Pittsburgh's starter in 2024? I think so.

At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, one of the main attributes of a quarterback in the sport of football is throwing touchdowns. It's an area where the Steelers were really lacking last year with both their regular starter, Kenny Pickett, and his late-season fill in, Mason Rudolph. (Another backup who started multiple games last year, Mitchell Trubisky, graded out better, but the team wasn't impressed -- he's already been released.)

Pittsburgh had two of the worst quarterbacks last season in terms of touchdown passes per start. And they've been frequently connected to Fields (who was also a lesser performer in that regard). Russell Wilson was better, while the free agents mentioned above -- Cousins and Flacco -- were two of the league's best in 2023. Will be interesting to see who the Steelers target.

Table shows touchdown passes per start by all quarterbacks who started at least half of last year (along with all three of Pittsburgh's starters).

Dak Prescott, Dall.172662.12.53
Brock Purdy, S.F.162681.94.69
Jordan Love, G.B.172451.88.65
Jared Goff, Det.172691.76.71
Russell Wilson, Den.152051.73.53
Josh Allen, Buff.172531.711.06
Tua Tagovailoa, Mia.172721.71.82
Patrick Mahomes, K.C.162611.69.88
Baker Mayfield, T.B.172381.65.59
Matthew Stafford, LAR152641.60.73
Justin Herbert, LAC132411.54.54
C.J. Stroud, Hou.152741.53.33
Lamar Jackson, Balt.162301.50.44
Joe Burrow, Cin.102311.50.60
Derek Carr, N.O.172281.47.47
Jalen Hurts, Phil.172271.35.88
Geno Smith, Sea.152421.33.60
Trevor Lawrence, Jac.162511.31.88
Sam Howell, Was.172321.241.24
Justin Fields, Chi.131971.23.69
Aidan O'Connell, L.V.102141.10.60
Gardner Minshew, Ind.132291.08.69
Mason Rudolph, Pitt.32391.00.00
Mitchell Trubisky, Pitt.21801.001.50
Desmond Ridder, Atl.13214.92.85
Joshua Dobbs, 2tms12192.92.83
Mac Jones, N.E.11193.911.09
Will Levis, Ten.9201.89.44
Bryce Young, Car.16180.69.63
Zach Wilson, NYJ11194.64.55
Kenny Pickett, Pitt.12173.50.33

--Andy Richardson