After signing Trubisky early in free agency and drafting Pickett with their first-round pick, what would it say about the Steelers if Rudolph wins the job?
The Cleveland Browns are not the only team with question marks at the quarterback position. While the Deshaun Watson story is the biggest lingering issue, a couple of other quarterback issues linger in the AFC North.
The Baltimore Ravens are set at the position with Lamar Jackson but the two sides have not been able to lock up a long-term extension. With Jackson, along with his mother, acting as his own agent the negotiations could get interesting.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are far more of an unknown at the most important position in the league.
The Steelers, looking to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger, signed Mitchell Trubisky quickly this offseason. While the two-year deal isn’t huge, it could be worth $27 million if incentivizes are met. A little over a month later, Pittsburgh used their first-round pick to draft Kenny Pickett.
Despite both of those moves, Mason Rudolph could be the team’s starting quarterback for 2022:
“Mason’s getting the second reps right now, almost equal to, maybe slightly less than Mitch,” Canada said, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s being given a very fair shot. To this point in camp, it might have been exactly equal. Mason has made a lot of plays at times, he’s played very well at times for us. He’s got a great shot at it. He’s being treated that way. His history with our plays, with our system, is a positive for him,”
Rudolph signed a one-year, $5 million extension during the 2021 season.
The former third-round pick has played in a total of 17 games since being drafted in 2018. He has completed 61.5% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He may be most famous for the altercation where Browns DE Myles Garrett hit Rudolph with his own Steelers helmet.
Also involved in that tussle, new Pittsburgh teammate Larry Ogunjobi said he and the quarterback talked it over already. Another teammate thinks Rudolph doesn’t get enough credit:
Should Rudolph win the job out of training camp, it will call into question the moves for Trubisky and Pickett. It could also lead to multiple changes at the position throughout the year.
The Steelers have been successful with lesser QB play at different times including late in Roethlisberger’s career and Devlin “Duck” Hodges. Yet, it is hard to see the team competitive in a division with Jackson, Watson (for however many games) and recent Super Bowl participant Joe Burrow with their current triumvirate of quarterbacks.