Steelers may be grooming Landry Jones to take over for Ben Roethlisberger

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Batch is on his way out in Pittsburgh, but before he left for good he made a bold prediction regarding Landry Jones, Ben Roethlisberger and the future of the Steelers offense.

Landry Jones was drafted to be Ben Roethlisberger's backup. At least, that's what many assumed when he was taken with the 115th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Departing backup quarterback Charlie Batch thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers have long-term plans in mind for the rookie, however. Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Maybe they weren't happy with what they had behind Ben and Bruce. That could be," Batch said. "But ultimately, I think this isn't about replacing me. Big picture, maybe they're thinking, 'Can we develop Landry Jones to be the starter? Maybe two years from now, he could be our guy for the next 10 years.' We don't know. But with the contracts for quarterbacks these days, he'd certainly be a heck of a lot cheaper than Ben at age 34 or 35 or 36."

Jones will likely be a lot cheaper than Roethlisberger in a few seasons. Whether he'll be ready to play a starting role is another matter. Jones was very productive in college, but he fell to the middle of the NFL draft due to concerns about his mobility and accuracy.

Roethlisberger, meanwhile, is a two-time Super Bowl winner and Pro Bowler. At 31 years old, he is three years younger than Drew Brees, four years younger than Tom Brady, and six years younger than Peyton Manning, all of whom are still playing at a high level. Things can change in a year or two, but barring Jones being much better than expected, Roethlisberger is set to start in Pittsburgh for many more years.

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