The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to have their franchise quarterback of the future in Kenny Pickett. Yet stability at the quarterback position figures to remain elusive for a while longer. That’s the expectation of longtime Steelers insider Gerry Dulac, who believes the organization is headed for “another major shakeup” at quarterback during the upcoming offseason.
Help Wanted: Steelers Will Need 2 New QBs in 2023
“It is probably a safe bet to assume both Trubisky and veteran Mason Rudolph will not be with the team next season, forcing the Steelers to find two new backups for Pickett,” wrote Dulac in his most recent column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Both have reasons to be upset with head coach Mike Tomlin, especially Rudolph, who didn’t get much of an opportunity to compete for the starting job this season.
“He almost never got to work with the first-team offense in training camp and did nothing but play mostly with third-teamers and future waiver-wire cuts, despite looking better than his competition at Saint Vincent College,” notes Dulac. “After being demoted and inactive for every game this season, Rudolph — a pending unrestricted free agent — will have no intention of returning for another season, though the Steelers would probably welcome him if he did.”
As for Trubisky, he was “disappointed” — and “angered,” as Dulac puts it — when he was pulled at halftime of a 10-6 game against the New York Jets, a decision that ushered in the Kenny Pickett era sooner than he expected.
If nothing else, the terms of Trubisky’s contract mean he will almost certainly be playing elsewhere next season. “The Steelers are not likely to want to pay that for a backup quarterback when they can save his $8 million in salary by trading him or releasing him — something Trubisky would probably welcome,” argues Dulac.
The bottom line is that the Steelers will need to add two new quarterbacks in the offseason—or three, if you count the fourth QB the team figures to bring to training camp.
Former Steelers QB Josh Dobbs & a 2023 Draft Pick?
That said, it’s likely that the Steelers will be selecting another quarterback in the 2023 draft, presumably in the middle or late rounds. Meanwhile, Omar Khan/Andy Weidl also figure to be in the market for a veteran backup.
Per Dulac, a “familiar name” to keep in mind is former Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs, who signed with the Cleveland Browns in April 2022, a day before late Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in a tragic accident in South Florida. He remained with the Browns until Nov. 28, when he was unceremoniously released to make room for Deshaun Watson, who was suspended for the first 11 games of the 2022 season.
Dobbs, a Steelers 4th-round pick in 2017, hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since 2020, but served as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup in 2018, when he appeared in five games. He spent the 2021 season on Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list after suffering a turf toe-type injury in the team’s preseason finale.
Dobbs has thrown just 17 passes over the course of his career, with 10 completions for 45 yards and one interception, according to Pro Football Reference.