The top of the Steelers’ quarterback depth chart is set heading into 2023, but the contract status of backup Mitch Trubisky and third-stringer Mason Rudolph leaves each of their futures in doubt. Both passers could find themselves in Pittsburgh for this coming season and beyond, however.
When the Steelers made Kenny Pickett the only first-round signal-caller of the 2022 draft class, it became clear that he would assume the starting role at some point. That time came in Week 4, when Trubusky was benched at halftime and left to fill in only when Pickett was injured later in the season. The former second overall pick had a 4:5 touchdown-to-interception in limited action during his debut Pittsburgh campaign. He still drew praise from owner Art Rooney II, however, which was echoed recently by general manager Omar Khan.
“Mitch has been great,” Khan said, via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “It’s been great to have him around, and I would look forward to having him around here for a long time. Not only this year but for a long time.”
Trubisky, 28, has one year remaining on the two-year pact he signed last offseason to restart his career. Before landing on Trubisky as their veteran addition to compete with a rookie (ultimately Pickett), though, the Steelers considered signing Jacoby Brissett, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The latter has a connection to offensive coordinator Matt Canada, dating back to their time together at NC State, and is poised to be a free agent after his one-year stint in Cleveland.
Trubisky’s 2023 cap hit of $10.625MM would make him a cumbersome backup from a financial perspective. The Steelers would save $8MM in cap space by cutting him, but Khan’s remarks point to an extension being the more likely avenue taken by the team. In addition, he made it clear (via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly) that QB will not be a position of focus during the upcoming draft with Pickett in place and Trubisky on the books for at least one more year.
As for Rudolph, the expectation has long been that he will depart in free agency in search of a clearer path to playing time. The 27-year-old has been in Pittsburgh since being drafted there in 2018, but has played in just 17 games (including 10 starts) since that time. Khan said, however, that the door remains open to a new contract with the former third-rounder.
Pittsburgh has a number of priorities in free agency, but re-tooling their QB room does not appear to be one of them. A step forward from Pickett would go a long way to driving improvement from the team overall, but at least one familiar face behind him in the pecking order is likely to be in place in 2023.
18 comments on “Steelers Want To Retain Mitch Trubisky, Open To New Mason Rudolph Deal”
Not sure I understand why they’d try to keep both. Feels like go for one known commodity, and make the third a player you take a later flyer on in the later rounds of the draft?
Mitch showed he’s a statue who still makes poor decisions and throwing errors.
not saying Mason is much different, but he’d certainly be cheaper.
if they don’t cut Mitch it’s a travesty. at least see if anyone offers anything remotely close to the 8 mil they’d save.
A statue? Rudolph can’t move if he wants to. Mitch can he just chose not to much for some reason…
I really don’t care though. Bring whoever is cheaper and/or wants to be there more. Certainly don’t need both.
I literally said Mason is not much different, but cheaper.
I’m team let both go, but if I had to choose I’d take Mason for 1.7 over Mitch for 8Mil (2mil dead cap)
and yes I agree Mitch has great athleticism and doesn’t use it.
many Roman statues also hold great physique 😉
I’m honestly surprised they’re not even considering a rookie. Not even with the top 3 picks but Dorian thompson-Green seems like a reasonable pickup. I don’t like him but people love Tanner McKee.
Obviously they have bigger needs in OL/DL but not taking a QB and retaining both of these guys who aren’t competent players is just funny.
heck there’s a few guys right now in the XFL who would qualify as a solid backup.
sign me up for Ben DiNucci replacing M&M behind Kenneth.
The Steelers should bring back Landry Jones who mastered the double forward pass while in the XFL.
haven’t seen it utilized yet this season.. heck they’re happy to complete 1 pass
It makes sense to let both go honestly.
We saw this in the local paper about a week ago. I’m kind of at a loss as to why either would stay. I’m sure Mitch feels a bit betrayed by how everything went down last season and Rudolph, even more so when you look at how he was handled here and how he really wasn’t given a shot coming out of a remarkably good training camp last year
I’m not personally a fan of either and regard both as guys who are back ups and nothing more, but it’s almost like Khan is appealing to them here to forget the past
The Steelers could likely use a veteran who is content with his role and won’t mind being a back up and mentor. Not too many of those types around
Both may WANT to leave, but both also know that they aren’t getting a bridge QB job as a starter.
So where is the best place to be as a backup? A club where you know the system and that has an injury prone QB as their #1.
Steelers check both boxes with Pickett’s concussions.
I see your point although there are two different dynamics here. I believe Mitch feels he can start somewhere in this league. The fact that he’s working out with Pickett and the receivers in Florida all week lends credence to your idea—that he’s just an injury away from being a starter here. And his paycheck is the highest among back ups. Ok. Understood
I don’t think Rudolph is under any such illusions about being a starter. He wants a back up role to work his way up the ladder in terms of confidence. I don’t have any doubt he’s extremely disappointed about his treatment here and I don’t think there is any way he’s coming back
Your point is well taken. I liked the pick of Kenny in round 1. I liked his development this past year. But he has miles to go
As an old time Steelers fan, I miss the days of old Art and Dan running this team. Art II doesn’t seem to know anything about it. Mitch is a failure. Take the money savings and cut him. Forget about anything Canada wants and get rid of him too. If some talented QB falls to us in the first round, you have to give him some serious consideration and maybe draft a backup to Kenny. Maybe bring in a cheaper option to be the veteran 3rd QB. (I miss you, Charlie Batch)
Kent Graham says hi. Wasn’t all peaches ‘n cream, bud.
I’m a fan since my earliest memories in 1970. I remember the glory years, but I also remember the years of Bubby and Mark Malone. Those were Art/Dan years that were forgettable and had the fan base questioning the actions of the front office
I dunno. Drafting players is a lot like hitting the lottery The Steelers have had some hits and some misses, and that extends to personnel in general
I don’t miss Batch but I get your point. They could use a veteran number 2 who is comfortable in his role and happy to be a mentor. As said above, not many of those kinds of guys around
10 million dollars is an awful lot to spend on a guy because you “like having him around” That’s a ringing endorsement
Reconstruct Mitch contract to make it more in line with backup QB salary as he not going to be starting for any teams in NFL if cut as just not good enough to get a team a win..