Recent Offensive Addition Labeled Steelers’ ‘Worst Free-Agent Signing’

Mike Tomlin

Getty Some observers aren't confident in the Steelers' signing of Mitch Trubisky.

One analyst is not so much in favor of the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ biggest move of the offseason.

As the Steelers enter the 2022 season for the first time in 19 years without Ben Roethlisberger under center, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay doesn’t sound too optimistic. Following the Steelers’ signing of Mitch Trubisky, Kay believes going with Trubisky will be remembered as a “panic move” that did not pan out.

Kay attributes the fact that Trubisky is just two years removed from flaming out with the Chicago Bears as a draft bust and that his mechanics are still flawed.

“Trubisky may have spent a season learning behind Josh Allen under respected offensive coordinator—and current Giants head coach—Brian Daboll,” said Kay. “However, Trubisky is still less than two years removed from flaming out with the Bears after the franchise pinned its hopes on the No. 2 overall pick in 2017.

Trubisky’s Rough History With Bears

His mechanics and reads leave much to be desired. While the Steelers may be able to hide some of Trubisky’s flaws by keeping him moving and setting up play-action passes, he’s unlikely to develop into a quality pocket quarterback at the age of 27.”

Trubisky spent the past season as a backup with the Buffalo Bills. However, he spent the prior four seasons of his career with the Bears as a No. 2 overall draft pick. Despite leading the Bears to two postseason berths, he never won the favor of the fan base as his erratic play led many to believe he’s a bust.

While Trubisky did earn a Pro Bowl berth during the 2018 season in which he threw 24 touchdowns against 12 interceptions (95.4 quarterback rating), the advanced analytics paint a different picture.

According to Pro Football Focus, Trubisky posted a 63.6 offensive grade in 2018. That number ranked 33rd among all quarterbacks. Painting an even grimmer picture is the fact that across Trubisky’s four seasons as a starter, he never posted higher than a 66.4 offensive grade. His peak ranking among all quarterbacks is 28th, accomplished during his rookie season in 2017 and again during the 2019 campaign.

Despite Trubisky’s bargain value — he signed a two-year deal that starts at $14.25 million — Kay believes the Steelers’ best route to success is drafting a franchise quarterback in the 2022 NFL draft.

“Trubisky’s contract is for two years and starts at $14.25 million, making it a relatively low-risk signing but still an overpay for a player who is likely to end up as a backup before the deal runs out,” explains Kay. “The best move for the Steelers will be rolling the dice on a signal-caller in the 2022 draft and hoping they hit, getting a player who can beat out Trubisky and earn the starting job early in their career.”

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Allen on Trubisky: ‘He’s Going to Kill It’

While Trubisky may not have a believer in Kay, the 27-year-old quarterback earned rave reviews during his short stint as a backup with the Bills.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen is one of Trubisky’s biggest advocates. The former All-Pro selection was a witness firsthand to Trubisky’s development during the 2021 season and believes he’s going to “kill it” moving forward with his career.

Via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:

“The dude is an athlete,” Allen said back in February, giving Trubisky an A+ rating. “I don’t think people really understand that. You give him leeway in an offense to have that mindset of, ‘See it, do it, we trust you.’ He’s going to kill it.”

Considering the Steelers are banking their near-term future in Trubisky’s hands, Pittsburgh is hoping Allen’s words come to fruition.

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