The Pittsburgh Steelers could be looking at a quarterback-needy trade partner.
According to Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, the Steelers could find a potential fit for quarterback Mason Rudolph in the New York Giants. Rudolph is currently entrenched as the No. 3 quarterback on Pittsburgh’s depth chart. Meanwhile, the Giants are currently dealing with injuries to starter Daniel Jones (ankle) and backup Tyrod Taylor (concussion).
As New York prepares for a matchup in London versus the Green Bay Packers, the Giants are suddenly lacking bodies at the quarterback position. Knox suggests the Giants make a move for Rudolph, who could be an “attractive” option given his 5-4-1 record as a Steelers starter.
“If the quarterback injuries linger for the Patriots and Giants, Rudolph could be an attractive option,” says Knox. “He’s gone 5-4-1 as a starter and is on a one-year, $5.1 million contract. The Giants are sitting on $5.4 million in cap space, while the Patriots are a little worse off with $3.1 million available.”
Giants Lacking Healthy Quarterbacks Entering Week 5
The Giants are elevating practice squad quarterback Davis Webb for their Week 5 matchup versus the Packers. If Jones can’t start, Webb could be New York’s go-to quarterback. The former third-round pick has never thrown an NFL pass during his career.
“You try to plan for every contingency that you may or may not have during the week,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “That will certainly be one of them.”
In that scenario, the Giants still need a backup quarterback. With Taylor in the concussion protocol, the veteran quarterback might be sidelined past this week. As Knox notes, Rudolph can be an “attractive spot-starting” option, as he’s previously done before for the Steelers over the past few seasons.
“However, Rudolph could be an attractive spot-starting option for teams like the Patriots and Giants,” says Knox. “Rookie Bailey Zappe finished Sunday’s game for New England, while we saw Saquon Barkley taking direct snaps for the Giants.”
Steelers Have Little Use for Rudolph in 2022
The Steelers are moving forward with Kenny Pickett as their starting quarterback. That means former starter Mitch Trubisky will move into the backup role. In other words, unless Trubisky is traded, Rudolph has no chance of seeing in-game action or really any reps in practice.
During his only extended run as a starter in 2019, Rudolph went 5-3. However, his stats weren’t pretty. He threw 13 touchdowns versus nine interceptions for an 82.0 passer rating. According to Pro Football Focus, Rudolph posted a low 53.5 offensive grade during the 2019 season.
Among all starting quarterbacks that season, Rudolph was the second lowest-rated quarterback, with the Carolina Panthers’ Kyle Allen the only lower-ranked starter.
However, there is something to be said regarding experience and winning. And Rudolph has some decent starting experience and has won half of his starts. It also doesn’t hurt that he did have an impressive preseason, throwing two touchdowns against zero interceptions for a 66.7 percent completion rate.
While Rudolph probably isn’t a viable long-term starter in the NFL, he can certainly fill a role and start a game or two. If the Steelers choose to retain Trubisky as the backup, they should trade Rudolph while they can get value out of him.