At least one quarterback won’t return to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2023 season.
But Rudolph isn’t the only quarterback whose future might not be in Pittsburgh. Mitch Trubisky, who signed with the Steelers the hours after 2022 NFL free agency opened last March 14, might not be long for the Black and Gold.
“Mason Rudolph will definitely not be back. Trubisky will depend if the Steelers still want to pay him $8 million in salary this season to be a backup or what happens if they want him to take a pay cut,” Dulac wrote in his weekly online chat with Steelers fans. “I wouldn’t waste a pick on a backup QB, but if they did it would be another late-round pick.”
The three-year veteran Rudolph is an impending free agent, a window that officially opens with the start of the new NFL year on March 15, 2023. Trubisky is currently under contract with the Steelers through the 2023 season.
Mitch Trubisky Regrets Signing With Steelers
Regrets, he’s had a few. If Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky had it all to do again, he would take a different approach to free agency.
“Everything happened kind of quick,” Trubisky recently told Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “I didn’t really have a long time to think of the decision. I wish I would’ve taken some more time and not just signed the first day of free agency.”
Trubisky would’ve prepared himself better rather than making such a hasty decision. Although, at the time, it appeared Pittsburgh offered him the best opportunity to regain his starting role with Ben Roethlisberger out of the picture.
“Looking back on it, just try to do some more research. But I felt like they were interested. I felt like it was a good opportunity to possibly get back on the field, but nothing’s guaranteed.”
That string of bad luck since entering the league continued in Pittsburgh. While he earned the starting role during the offseason and opened the 2022 NFL season as QB1, Mike Tomlin benched Trubisky at halftime of Week 4. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who Trubisky was unaware the Steelers were planning to draft, was given a helmet and the rest is history.
It’s no secret the Steelers were struggling early on, but the offense that sputtered with Trubisky sputtered just the same without him.
It was a bumpy five weeks for Pickett, but Pittsburgh’s offense picked up steam in the second half of the season. And while they missed the playoffs by the skin of their football, the Steelers finished 7-2 after an abysmal 2-6 start.
The Steelers Will Need to Restock Their Quarterback Room
With Mitch Trubisky’s $8 million salary making him a likely candidate for release, the Pittsburgh Steelers could have two spots to fill behind second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett.
They’ll have a bevy of quarterbacks from which to choose — 38 to be exact. Removing priority free agent options of Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Daniel Jones, plenty of options will remain for the Steelers.
Gardner Minshew, Jalen Hurts’ Philadelphia Eagles backup, is one of them. He’s been linked to Pittsburgh through speculation for years, and this offseason will be no different.
The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly included Minshew in a list of trade options for the Steelers last offseason and got back on the horse in his recent mailbag.
“Gardner Minshew … 100 percent,” he wrote.
Should Trubisky and Rudolph leave town, Pittsburgh will need a strong, reliable backup given Kenny Pickett’s already unfortunate history of concussions.