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T.J. Watt Favorite to Finish Season as NFL Sack Leader

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Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is currently second in the NFL with 12 sacks, but the star pass rusher is the betting favorite to finish the season as the league leader.

Watt is listed at 3/2 to be the NFL’s sack leader by seasons end, courtesy of BetOnline.

Watt entered Week 14 pacing the league, but was overtaken by Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who recorded a sack-and-a-half against the New England Patriots on Thursday night. He owns the second-best odds at 9/4.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (3/1), Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson (11/2) and Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (6/1) round out the top five.

Watt finished tied for fifth with a career-high 14.5 sacks a season ago. With 12 through 12 games, he is on pace to set a new high watermark once again. Watt currently leads the league with 19 tackles-for-loss and 37 hits on opposing quarterbacks.

Selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin, Watt has been selected to two Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2019. He has 46.5 career sacks, while also forcing 16 fumbles, posting 55 tackles-for-loss and intercepting four passes.

Watt would become just the second Steeler ever to finish the season as the league’s sack leader, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene in 1994.

Former Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter’s 17.5 sacks in 2008 are the most in a single season in team history.

Odds

Odds: Will the Steelers Draft a Quarterback in the First Round?

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Will the Pittsburgh Steelers select a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?

Oddsmakers don’t think so.

The Steelers are 5/2 (+250) to draft a quarterback in the first round this April and 1/4 (-400) to go in a different direction, courtesy of BetOnline.

Pittsburgh owns the No. 24 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and could go in a number of directions to address their mounting needs, including quarterback, running back and offensive line.

While the Steelers will miss out on top flight quarterback prospects like Clemson’ Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who are expected to be drafted in the top three, they still could have some enticing quarterback options at No. 24.

A pair of Heisman Trophy finalists in Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask could both be available for the Steelers to select late first round.

Jones is coming off a national championship and 41 touchdown pass season for the Crimson Tide, while Trask led the country with 43 touchdown passes for the Gators.

The speculation Pittsburgh will select a quarterback comes as current signal caller Ben Roethlisberger weighs retirement following his 17th season leading the team.

Roethlisberger will turn 39 on March 2, and has one year remaining on his current contract.

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Odds Say Ben Roethlisberger More Likely to Return than Retire

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One of the biggest question marks facing the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is the future of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and whether or not he will retire. Oddsmakers have released odds for Roethlisberger’s impending decision, and seem to believe the 38-year-old will be back for

Roethlisberger is favored to return this offseason at 1/5 (-500), courtesy of BetOnline. He is 3/1 (+300) to return for the 2021 season.

The veteran passer was open about the uncertainty surrounding his future and that of teammates like Maurkice Pouncey following the game.

Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 12-4 record and division title in his 17th year, but his season was a tale of two halves. He was tremendous to start the season, but seemed to decline as the year went on, raising questions about his future.

Roethlisberger three for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions, completing 65.6% of his passes. Six of those interceptions came over the last six games.

His performance was inconsistent in the Steelers’ first round playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday night, as he tossed four interceptions, but also passed four touchdowns and 501 yards. Pouncey and Roethlisberger lingered on the field long after the loss at Heinz Field. 

Roethlisberger is set to turn 39 years old on March 2.

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Steelers Own Eighth-Best Odds to Acquire Carson Wentz

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With Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz’s tenure with the franchise likely ending after this season, oddsmakers believe the Pittsburgh Steelers are a possible next destination.

Pittsburgh owns the eighth-best odds at 9/1 (+900) to add Wentz if he happens to be traded or released by Philadelphia, courtesy of SportsBetting.ag.

Wentz had a rocky 2020 season, and was eventually replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts midway through, sparking questions about the veterans’ future in the City of Brotherly Love.

In 12 games this season, Wentz tossed 16 touchdowns and a league-leading 15 interceptions. He was also the most sacked quarterback in the NFL, being brought down 50 times.

The Indianapolis Colts are the betting favorites to land Wentz at 3/2 (+150), potentially pairing him with head coach Frank Reich, his first offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

The Chicago Bears (+200), New England Patriots (+500) and San Francisco 49ers (+600) have the next best odds to acquire Wentz’s services this offseason.

The Denver Broncos (+700), Detroit Lions (+700) and Washington (+800) are all also ahead of the Steelers.

Selected second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of North Dakota State, Wentz has spent his entire five-year career with Philadelphia. He has thrown for 16,811 yards with 113 touchdowns and 50 interceptions. Wentz was an MVP candidate and Pro Bowler in 2017 before suffering a season-ending injury.

He signed four-year, $128 million contract extension in June of 2019. While Wentz’s price tag make it more important that the Eagles unload him, it may also make the process more challenging.

Still just 28, Wentz could be a potential future answer for the Steelers at quarterback, though the financials of both clubs could make a deal unlikely.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, 38, in nearing the end of his 17th season, and has one year remains on his current contract.

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