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For 18 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have entered every offseason knowing the answer to the most important question in football: Who is your starting quarterback? This offseason, for the first time since 2003, that answer is unclear, as the expectation is that Ben Roethlisberger is hanging up his cleats. 

"We are proceeding with that assumption," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, via Pro Football Talk.

Unlike some other teams in similar positions, the Steelers have not really been aggressively planning for post-Roethlisberger life. The only two other quarterbacks on the roster are Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins -- neither of whom has distinguished himself as a future NFL starter, when given opportunities to play. 

Tomlin seemingly knows he doesn't have his future starter on the team just yet, and that the Steelers have a search on which to embark. "I'm excited about that challenge," Tomlin said of finding his team's next franchise QB, per NFL Media. "Those of us that are competitors are. It's a challenge. It makes you uneasy."

While Rudolph and Haskins remain on the roster, Tomlin seemingly made it clear that they're not necessarily viewed as starter material.

"Both guys, Mason and Dwayne, have had their moments, but they'll have to prove that," Tomlin said. "And not only in the team development process, but through playing itself. There are guys that start that I wouldn't characterize as everyday starters. They'll be given an opportunity to establish themselves and there's going to be competition, there always is. So, they'll write that story. But I think that both guys have positioned themselves to fight that fight with what they've done from a work standpoint and a professionalism standpoint in 2021."

The Steelers have own the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which could potentially leave them in range to select one of the passers in this class. It's considered a weaker quarterback crop this year than last, though, so the Steelers might prefer to go shopping in free agency or seek a trade. Who is under center next season obviously remains to be seen, but we know who it won't be. And that's a pretty big change.