Steelers Considered ‘Logical’ Landing Spot for 2-Time Pro Bowl QB

Mike Tomlin

Getty If Kyler Murray becomes available, the Steelers could be a logical landing spot.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a “logical” landing spot for one of the top young quarterbacks, according to one analyst.

As noted by CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, the Arizona Cardinals‘ Kyler Murray finds himself embroiled in a contract dispute with his current team. Both sides are at a standstill for a deal and Murray is unlikely to play in Arizona without a new deal. According to Benjamin, the Steelers are a potential landing spot for the disgruntled quarterback.

“They’re only paying Mitchell Trubisky high-end backup money, and they sure as heck aren’t gonna be guaranteed an equal talent with the No. 20 overall pick. With a playoff-ready defense and improved O-line, adding Murray could instantly propel them deeper into the playoffs,” said Benjamin. “The issue is, their first-rounder is later, and they don’t have many other extra picks to deal.”

Steelers Still Looking to Add Quarterbacks

Despite adding Mitch Trubisky in free agency, the Steelers are still in search of quarterbacks. The Steelers have an unclear situation at quarterback with the inconsistent Mason Rudolph — he was benched in 2019 as starter in favor of undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges — and Trubisky, who spent last season as a backup with the Buffalo Bills.

General manager Kevin Colbert previously mentioned earlier in the offseason that the plan is for the Steelers to enter training camp with four quarterbacks.

Via Brooke Pryor of ESPN:

“We know we’re going to add to the position,” Colbert said back in February. “I can’t tell you how at this point. We will go to camp with four. If we had to start today with Mason as our starter, let’s go. We’ll try to build the best team around him.”

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What Murray Brings to the Table

Murray is currently at the top of his game, having led the Cardinals to their first postseason berth in six years. The 24-year-old is coming off of his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection after throwing for 24 touchdowns and a career-high 100.6 quarterback rating and 69.2% completion rate.

While it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Cardinals and Murray don’t eventually resolve their differences, it’s worth mentioning that the Houston Texans recently traded 26-year-old Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns. If contract talks continue to remain at a standstill, the situation could become ugly and Murray may refuse to play — as Watson previously did by sitting out the 2021 season with the Texans.

Although Murray holds just 22-23-1 record as a starter, his production and ceiling are hard to ignore. According to Pro Football Focus, Murray’s 84.0 offensive grade last season ranked seventh among all quarterbacks, while his passing grade of 88.1 ranked third among all quarterbacks.

What makes that passing production even more impressive is the fact that Murray is the definition of a dual-threat quarterback. The two-time Pro Bowler ran for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns during the 2020 season in addition to his 26 passing touchdowns.

However, as Benjamin notes, the Steelers don’t have impressive draft capital to offer the Cardinals in a hypothetical trade scenario. Pittsburgh currently holds the No. 20 overall selection in the first round.

Other potential landing spots mentioned by Benjamin such as the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints have higher draft picks or more capital in the 2022 NFL draft. For example, the Panthers hold the No. 6 overall pick while the Saints possess two picks within the top 20 selections (No. 16 and No. 19).

If Pittsburgh has an opportunity to add the young star, acquiring a quarterback of Murray’s magnitude would immediately lift the Steelers from a fringe playoff team to a Super Bowl contender.

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