Ben Roethlisberger has announced his retirement, leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers in need of a starting quarterback for the first time in 18 years. Without an obvious successor on the roster, Pittsburgh can look for its new signal-caller through a trade, free agency or the draft.

Here’s a look at five options that could make sense to be the Steelers’ quarterback for the 2022 season.

Aaron Rodgers

Following another disappointing playoff loss, there is a growing sentiment that Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are headed for a divorce. The Denver Broncos are viewed as Rodgers’ most likely destination, but Pittsburgh is right behind them. Playing in the AFC North would give Rodgers a better chance to win a Super Bowl than playing in the AFC West. Pittsburgh’s historic stretch of sustained success could appeal to Rodgers, who can likely pick his destination with a trade request.

Kirk Cousins

It might be time for the Minnesota Vikings to move on from Kirk Cousins. The team fired head coach Mike Zimmer, and Minnesota hasn’t been a contender since agreeing to pay Cousins more than most of the league’s top quarterbacks. The veteran, however, continues to put up impressive numbers and would be an improvement over Roethlisberger. If the Vikings try to trade Cousins, the Steelers seem to be one of the top options, according to The Athletic’s Chad Graff.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo’s days in San Francisco are almost certainly numbered since the 49ers traded three first-round picks in order to make Trey Lance their franchise quarterback. A trade for Garoppolo would cost far less than a deal for Rodgers. Garoppolo is only signed for one more year. Unlike Cousins, Garoppolo isn’t one of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks. At the very least, Garoppolo has proven that he can be a Super Bowl quarterback if surrounded by a good defense and talented playmakers.

Marcus Mariota

Mariota could get another chance as a starter after spending the last two seasons as Derek Carr’s backup. No longer under contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, Mariota would be a relatively cheap option in free agency. The former No. 2 overall pick did have some success with the Tennessee Titans to start his career. From 2016 to 2018, Mariota went 24-19 with 50 touchdown passes and 32 interceptions. He’s a dual-threat quarterback that could bring a new element to the Pittsburgh offense.

Kenny Pickett 

The Steelers could try to find their next franchise quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. Pickett is already a star in the city, having led the University of Pittsburgh to its first ACC Championship in 2021. Pickett finished third in the Heisman Trophy race after completing 67.2% of his passes for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Ole Miss’ Matt Corral or North Carolina’s Sam Howell are also potential first-round options for Pittsburgh.

Jimmy Garoppolo girlfriend San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo celebrates after a win at Levi's Stadium on Jan. 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images