The chaos that engulfed the Steelers in recent years produced historically strange consequences. Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell's dramatic exits left the team in an odd place, and the criticism levied against the Steelers seemingly places Ben Roethlisberger in a difficult spot.
Brown, Roethlisberger's best skill-position teammate, torched everything he could on his way out, prompting frequent critiques of the quarterback's leadership. Big Ben’s late 30s began with as notable an earthquake as a top-tier passer has endured in years.
But with the conclusion of this combustible period lies an opportunity for the future Hall of Famer. If Roethlisberger pilots the Steelers back to prominence, he will add significantly to his legacy, an opportunity perhaps unavailable had the all-drama "Killer B’s" core stayed together.
After March’s disastrous trade of Brown to the Raiders, an astounding 11 percent of Pittsburgh's 2019 payroll is committed to a player no longer on the roster. The deal went a long way toward the Steelers carrying the sixth-best odds to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LIV and the team lagging well behind the Browns for AFC North buzz. Despite this bizarre off-season, the Steelers are uniquely qualified to navigate their central issue.