Steelers Agree to Terms with Former 2nd-Overall Quarterback

Getty QB Mitchell Trubisky warms up pregame on the sideline.

The Pittsburgh Steelers did a little legal tampering and came away with a quarterback.

Per Pittsburgh NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Steelers have reached an agreement on a two-year deal with Mitchell Trubisky on March 14. Trubisky was the second overall pick of the Chicago Bears in the 2017 NFL draft — eight spots ahead of Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and 10 picks before Texans’ Deshaun Watson. He played in Chicago for four seasons before finding a home in Buffalo in 2021 as the backup to Josh Allen.

If all goes as planned, the deal will become official when free agency opens on Wednesday, March 16.

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A Second Chance

Though Garafolo predicts Trubisky to be the “expected starter,” it’s hard to imagine it’ll be a clear path. It’s more likely that the Mentor, Ohio-born Trubisky will have to earn the starting position (alongside Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins) with the team he grew up two hours away from.

While Trubisky (and his career) could’ve benefited from sitting and observing for a couple of seasons, Chicago’s quarterback situation didn’t afford him that opportunity. The Bears had enough of Mike Glennon after he tossed four picks in Week 4 and quickly turned to the quarterback they traded up to get six months earlier. He was thrown into the fire as a rookie in Week 5 of 2017 — and burned.

The pressure was on from the get-go, as his first start came under the bright primetime lights of Monday Night Football against division foe Minnesota Vikings. In his regular-season debut, per Pro Football Reference, Trubisky went 12-for-25 with one touchdown and one interception on 128 yards.

Heading into his sixth season, Trubisky has had time to develop, most notably behind Allen. That’s the best that Steelers fans can hope for in their team’s new quarterback, especially given the “bust” status that followed him to Pittsburgh.


A Path for Success

Should Trubisky win (or be handed) the starting job, he’s set up for success. Though Trubisky’s nothing to write home about as a passer, Najee Harris toting the rock should take some of the pressure off. He shouldn’t be asked to do anything more than not lose the game as he learns the Steelers system.

Trubisky is also mobile — a trait Mike Tomlin said he desired in the Steelers’ next starter. “Mobile quarterbacks are the wave of the future,” Tomlin said in his final press conference of the 2021 season. “Having mobility at that position is something that would be desirable.”

Mobility is key for whoever starts, as the offensive line was ranked 26th in NFL last season. It could take more than one free agent period and one draft to complete the O-line remodel they attempted and failed at in 2021.

In a press conference at the NFL Combine, Kevin Colbert indicated that the Steelers intend to go into training camp with four quarterbacks. With the plan to tender Haskins, the future signing of Trubisky and Rudolph already under contract, one spot remains. A rookie quarterback will likely fill the spot, but there’s always the outside possibility that Pittsburgh retains current pending free agent Josh Dobbs. Ben Roethlisberger found value in consulting Dobbs in his two seasons with the Steelers.

Though there’s a bit more clarity at the quarterback position, the unknown will certainly make for an interesting offseason.

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