Coley Harvey, Cincinnati Bengals: This is a tough question, mainly because I don’t think there are many similarities with respect to Roethlisberger and Flacco. They are at slightly different stages of their careers. At 33, Roethlisberger is older and closer to retirement. At 30, Flacco possesses more promise for continuing to play five years from now. Though Roethlisberger looks like he could play until he’s 38 right now, you never know how a quarterback’s body will hold up once he starts getting into his mid-30s -- particularly a quarterback who has endured the bruising Roethlisberger has over the years. Sure, he’s larger than some defensive ends and linebackers, but Roethlisberger still has been put through a ringer of injuries. Then again, Roethlisberger also has the better and more stable supporting cast at the playmaking positions. He is part of a franchise that knows what it takes to not only get back to the Super Bowl, but to win it. Although Flacco appears to have more definite long-term potential, I’m picking Roethlisberger because of who he has around him.
Jamison Hensley, Baltimore Ravens: Roethlisberger will be the more productive quarterback, but Flacco will be the more successful one over the next five years. There’s no questioning that Roethlisberger has the stronger supporting cast on offense. Few quarterbacks have the likes of receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell. Roethlisberger should throw for more than 4,000 yards and close to 30 touchdowns in each of the next five seasons. The transition on defense will be a challenge for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the next couple of seasons. Flacco has proven he can withstand change in his supporting cast, including the loss of future Hall of Fame defenders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Before you start chanting "homer," let’s look at the past three seasons for these quarterbacks. Roethlisberger is 26-19 (.578) with no playoff wins, and Flacco is 28-20 (.583) with five postseason victories. Advantage, Flacco.
Pat McManamon, Cleveland Browns: Not even close. Roethlisberger. Start with the fact he’s been basically operating in the same system for years and that he has great leeway in making play calls at the line. Continue with the receiving corps, anchored by one of the best in the league in Brown and with two fine young players in Sammie Coates and Martavis Bryant, then add in the playmaking of Bell and it’s obvious Roethlisberger has more around him. Then come the abilities of Roethlisberger. He’s averaged 27 touchdowns the past four seasons and has topped 4,000 yards in three of the past four, highlighted by last season’s total of 4,952 yards. Flacco is very good. Roethlisberger is special.