Mitchell Trubisky

Bills Bring Back QB Mitchell Trubisky, P Matt Haack; S Taylor Rapp Lands Extension

MARCH 7: Garafolo’s colleague Tom Pelissero reports the Trubisky deal is two years in length and has a base value of $5.25MM. $2.75MM in guaranteed money is in place for 2024, and he can raise the value of the pact to $8.45MM via playing time and win incentives. Trubisky’s deal is thus far more valuable than Kyle Allen’s from last season, and the latter will likely be headed elsewhere.

MARCH 6: After being released from the Steelers over three weeks ago, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is headed back to Buffalo, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Trubisky left the Bills two years ago in order to compete for the starting job in Pittsburgh, but after falling dramatically on the depth chart since then, Trubisky found himself a free agent. Tim Graham of The Athletic was the first to report progressing talks of a reunion earlier this afternoon.

After leaving for the Steelers, Trubisky successfully won the starting job over then-rookie Kenny Pickett. In a Week 4 loss to the Jets, Trubisky was benched for the rookie out of Pitt and remained on the bench for most of the remainder of the year, except for two games during which Pickett was injured. This season, Trubisky was the first name called upon to start when Pickett got hurt again. He played in three consecutive games before eventually getting benched once again, this time in favor of Mason Rudolph.

During his previous stint in Buffalo, Trubisky signed knowing that he would serve as a backup to Josh Allen, resigning himself to a role learning under the same staff that molded Allen into an MVP candidate. He’ll return to the same role in 2024. Trubisky’s addition likely means the end of Kyle Allen‘s time in Buffalo. Allen made seven garbage-time appearances last year as the primary backup before heading to free agency this offseason. Practice squad reserve Shane Buechele was signed to a futures deal and should play a similar role next season.

The Bills also kept an important name in the secondary, signing safety Taylor Rapp to a three-year extension worth up to $14.5MM, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Rapp, formerly a full-time starter as a second-round pick for the Rams, functioned as a third safety for the Bills in 2023, sitting behind the veteran pair of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Rapp’s main playing time in Buffalo came as a starter in the four weeks that Hyde and Poyer missed due to injury.

With Hyde headed towards free agency and Poyer being released today, Rapp’s signing may deliver a glimpse of the Bills’ plans at safety moving forward. Some have even linked Buffalo to some of the best safety prospects in the draft like Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin or Miami’s Kamren Kinchens. Since both Hyde and Poyer will be 33 years old heading into the 2024 season, it makes sense that Buffalo is making plans to move on. Rapp represents one possible solution moving forward at 26 years old.

Finally, another reunion is happening in Buffalo, this one on special teams. Veteran punter Matt Haack signed a deal to return to Buffalo this year. Haack’s last full season came in 2022, when he served punting duties for the Colts, but he did play a game for the Browns this past year. The Bills re-signed current punter Sam Martin to a three-year, $6MM deal almost a year ago, so he’s still under contract for two more years.

Martin’s contract does have a potential out this offseason that would allow the team to save $1.25MM of cap space, so given the rest of their actions today, I wouldn’t rule out Haack coming in to replace Martin. For now, though, we’ll assume Haack is coming in to provide some camp competition for Martin this summer.

Steelers, QB Mitch Trubisky Part Ways

Changes have been expected at the quarterback position in Pittsburgh, and an unsurprising move is taking place. Mitch Trubisky is set to part ways with the team, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. The team has since confirmed the move.

Trubisky began his Pittsburgh tenure as a bridge starter, but he was overtaken on the depth chart midway through Kenny Pickett‘s rookie season. Mason Rudolph then emerged as the team’s preferred option late in the 2023 campaign and through the wild-card round. As a result, signs pointed to Trubisky being let go ahead of free agency in 2024.

[RELATED: Steelers Cut Chukwuma Okorafor, Pressley Harvin III]

The former No. 2 pick was on the books for the next two seasons, having inked an extension last year. In spite of that, the Steelers will elect to cut bait well ahead of the new league year. Releasing Trubisky before June 1 would yield a dead cap charge of $4.6MM this year, and cap savings of just under $3MM. Designating him a post-June 1 release, however, would result in $5.25MM in savings compared to a $2.3MM dead cap charge. Teams are permitted to use the post-June 1 designation early in the offseason, but they do not realize the financial savings until after that date.

ESPN’s Brooke Pryor confirms this move is a mutual one, and it will allow Trubisky to seek out a new opportunity in a backup role. The 29-year-old made seven starts and 12 appearances with the Steelers, throwing more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (eight). Those figures helped inform today’s move, but it will no doubt hinder his market in free agency. Trubisky last served as a full-time starter during his time with the Bears, which ended in 2020.

With Trubisky no longer in the picture and Rudolph a pending free agent, Pickett is the only QB currently on the Steelers’ roster. The team remains confident in the latter’s potential, and he will enter the offseason atop the depth chart. Competition will be brought in, however, and that could include another new contract with Rudolph or an outside addition. Ryan Tannehill – who had a succesful run in Tennessee under new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith – is believed to be on Pittsburgh’s radar.

Trubisky was due $11.25MM over the next two seasons, and he will aim to find a deal allowing him to match or better that total with a new team. He is younger than many of the other options in this year’s free agent QB class, but his underwhelming showing in Pittsburgh should limit his market to a low-cost, short-term agreement. It will be interesting to see where he winds up while the Steelers contemplate their next move under center.

Steelers Unlikely To Retain Mitch Trubisky In 2024

The Steelers’ have used three quarterback this year in part due to starter Kenny Pickett‘s ankle injury and in part due to Mitch Trubisky‘s struggles filling in for him. As a result, the latter could be headed elsewhere in the offseason.

[RELATED: Steelers Preparing Mike Tomlin Extension]

Trubisky is under contract through 2025, but Outkick’s Armando Salguero reports he is unlikely to be in place as Pittsburgh’s backup next season. The former No. 2 pick joined the Steelers on a two-year deal last offseason with the expectation he would cede starting duties to the team’s drafted Ben Roethlisberger successor. Pickett did indeed take over the lead role midway through his rookie campaign, but Trubisky has seen a total of seven starts and 12 appearances as a Steeler.

Over that time, the 29-year-old has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (eight). His 77.6 passer rating in Pittsburgh sits below his career average, so it would come as little surprise if the team elected to move in a different direction. Trubisky inked a two-year extension in May, with most of the guaranteed money coming in 2023. As a result, a post-June 1 cut would leave Pittsburgh with only $2.3MM in dead money over each of the next two years.

Now three years removed from the end of his tenure as a starter with the Bears, Trubisky spent one season as Josh Allen‘s backup in Buffalo before joining the Steelers. Given his struggles in his latest environment, another No. 2 role would no doubt await him on the open market. In the event Pittsburgh were to cut bait, however, questions would be raised with respect to the team’s QB plans moving forward.

Two years remain on Pickett’s rookie contract, and another could be tacked on next spring by exercising his fifth-year option. It remains to be seen if the 2022 first-rounder will earn a long-term look atop the depth chart given the up-and-down nature of his career so far, however. The other option at the moment is veteran Mason Rudolph, who played well in his 2023 debut but has not received an extended look as a starter since 2019. Rudolph is a pending free agent.

For that reason, the Steelers could be in need of two quarterback additions in the near future if they follow through with a Trubisky trade or release. For the time being, Rudolph has likely surpassed Trubisky on the depth chart given their respective performances this season. After the campaign is over, though, their futures will be a key storyline in Pittsburgh.

Steelers Rule Out Kenny Pickett For Week 15; Mitch Trubisky To Remain Starter

The Steelers were without Kenny Pickett for their Thursday night loss to kick off Week 14. The same will hold true of their starting quarterback for their next game.

[RELATED: Mike Tomlin Not On Hot Seat]

When speaking to the media on Monday, head coach Mike Tomlin announced Pickett will be out for Pittsburgh’s Saturday contest against the Colts. As he recovers from surgery on a sprained ankle, Mitch Trubisky will again get the nod for Pittsburgh in a game with signficant AFC playoff implications.

A report from last week indicated the Steelers were preparing for a four-week Pickett absence, so today’s update comes as little surprise. Pittsburgh elected not to place the 2022 first-rounder on injured reserve, though, leaving the door open to a return on a shorter timeline. While Pickett continues to rehab from surgery, Trubisky will be counted on to deliver an improved performance from the Steelers’ offense, a unit which has drawn heavy criticism throughout the season.

OC Matt Canada was fired in a rare in-season coaching change, but the new setup on the sidelines did not produce a spark over a disappointing two-game span last week. Losses to the Cardinals and Patriots leave the Steelers at 7-6, making them one of six teams at that record in the AFC’s wild-card picture. The Colts are another, and they will have Gardner Minshew at quarterback in what will be a battle of the backups this Saturday.

While Trubisky is in line to get another start – his seventh as a Steeler – third-stringer Mason Rudolph will also get some practice work this week, Tomlin added. However, ESPN’s Brooke Pryor notes it is unlikely the latter will realistically receive a chance to start. Regardless of who is under center, the Steelers will require improved play on offense compared to recent performances to maintain a playoff position.

AFC Injury Roundup: Steelers, Stevenson, Titans

This has been a typical rally year for the Steelers. Anytime things look less than ideal in a season for Pittsburgh, the team tends to pick things up and lead head coach Mike Tomlin to yet another winning season. They have done so this year as a bend-but-don’t-break defense has buoyed a struggling offense to a 7-5 record. That task will likely be getting a bit more difficult with the injury news concerning starting quarterback Kenny Pickett.

According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, Pickett sustained a right ankle injury while trying to push for the endzone today and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the injury is “not good” and that Pickett “will be out for an extended period.”

Pickett was replaced in today’s loss by backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky was able to score a touchdown in relief of Pickett but was unable to lead the team to victory after inheriting a tie game on the one-yard line. Tomlin made it clear that if Pickett is unable to go, which if Dulac is correct sounds like it will be the case, Trubisky will serve as the team’s starter.

With the Steelers facing a short week before hosting the Patriots, Pickett likely won’t have time to make a quick comeback, especially if the injury is “not good.” Expect Trubisky to lead the Pittsburgh offense this Thursday night.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the AFC, starting with another note from the Steel City:

  • Steelers starting safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who returned to the field today for the first time since October, was forced to leave the game for a period with a broken left hand, per Pryor. The break reportedly kept him from being able to grab the football, but he was able to cast and wrap the hand during the game’s two weather delays and finish the game with the injury. If the team feels it’s safe, Fitzpatrick may not need to miss any additional time as he can simply play with the cast, as he did today.
  • Speaking of the Thursday night turnaround, the Patriots are in danger of having to face the Steelers without starting running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson reportedly sprained his ankle today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and will undergo an MRI in order to determine how long he may be sidelined. Even if it’s a fairly minor sprain, the short week looms large for his availability. Backup rusher Ezekiel Elliott could find himself in a bigger role or even starting in Pittsburgh this coming week.
  • The Titans saw two players suffer scary knee injuries in today’s loss to the Colts. The two players who went down were star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and backup tight end Josh Whyle. While the injuries were enough to sideline each player for a bit, beat writer Paul Kuharsky confirms that neither injury is season-ending.

Latest On Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett exited yesterday’s loss to the Jaguars after suffering a rib injury. The Steelers quarterback didn’t return to the contest, and while he managed to avoid a serious injury, there’s uncertainty surrounding his status for Week 9.

With the Steelers facing a short week ahead of Thursday Night Football, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says there isn’t a lot of optimism surrounding Pickett’s availability for that game. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin seems to be keeping the door open, however, saying his starting QB’s status will truly be a game-time decision.

“I think the door is definitively ajar for Kenny,” Tomlin said (via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor). “Probably a game-time-type decision based on the information that I’m holding here today, with no structural damage and so forth to his ribs.

“And so, we see how we’ll go through the week, his ability to throw his level of comfort, his ability of effectiveness, et cetera, and let that be our guide in terms of determining his availability.”

Tomlin also said the team will have a “functional” practice on Wednesday. That session will play a key role in determining whether Pickett will be under center the following night.

If Pickett can’t play against the Titans, the Steelers will turn to backup Mitchell Trubisky. The veteran has seen time in two games this Sunday, including this past weekend. In total, Trubisky has completed 18 of his 32 pass attempts for 156 yards, one touchdown, and a pair of interceptions. The former second-overall pick got five starts for the Steelers in 2022, with Pittsburgh going 2-3 in those contests.

Contract Details: Trubisky, K. Jackson, Texans

Here are a few details on recently-signed contracts/extensions:

  • Mitchell Trubisky, QB (Steelers): Two-year extension. Signing bonus of $6.92MM. 2023-25 salaries (unguaranteed) of $1.08MM, $4.25MM, and $5MM. 90-man offseason roster bonuses of $1MM in 2024 and 2025. Up to $4.25MM of incentives in 2023. Up to $14.5MM in incentives from 2024-25. Via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Kareem Jackson, S (Broncos): One-year, $2.67MM. Despite a 13-year career as a full-time starter, only guarantee is $152.5K signing bonus. Twitter link via Mike Klis of
  • Byron Cowart, DT (Texans): One-year. $1.08MM salary (veteran minimum). Includes injury waiver for previous back and knee injuries. Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of KPRC2.
  • Neville Hewitt, LB (Texans): One-year. $1.2MM salary. Signing bonus of $300K. Playing time incentives of up to $300K. Per game active roster bonus of up to $200K. Twitter link via Wilson.
  • Greg Little, OT (Texans): One-year. $1.08MM salary (veteran minimum). Signing bonus of $100K. Twitter link via Wilson.
  • Shaq Mason, G (Texans): Three-year, $36MM extension ($22MM guaranteed) on top of one remaining year of club control in 2023. Signing bonus of $10MM. 2023-26 salaries of $1.07MM (guaranteed) $9.25MM (guaranteed), $10MM ($1.05MM guaranteed), and $10.4MM (unguaranteed). Annual per game active roster bonus of up to $500K. Annual Pro Bowl incentive of $250K. $50K workout bonus from 2024-26. Twitter link via Wilson.

Trubisky was already under contract through 2023, and he was due an $8MM salary for the upcoming year. So, as Florio notes, the 28-year-old passer essentially gave the Steelers two more years of club control without any increase in 2023 pay and without securing any guaranteed money in the two tack-on years. It seems that after Pittsburgh unexpectedly re-signed fellow signal-caller Mason Rudolph, Trubisky was worried that he might be released, so in order to lock in the $8MM he was already planning to earn this season, he agreed to a team-friendly extension.

His contract is now due to expire when Kenny Pickett‘s rookie deal expires, so the Steelers will at least have a high-end backup on hand as Pickett seeks to establish himself as Pittsburgh’s franchise QB.

Steelers Rumors: Pickett, Trubisky, Rudolph

One of the most common negatives attributed to Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett as a draft prospect was his hand size. While many considered the issue overblown and trivial, Alex Kozora of Steelers Depot relays that Pickett was told by multiple teams that his hand size would determine whether or not he was on their draft board.

This story is less about Pickett’s hand size and more about the fact that multiple teams threatened that he would be taken off their board altogether if his hands didn’t measure up. Specifically, Pickett says that he was told that he would be taken off some teams’ boards if his hands were not nine inches. Lo and behold, they measured up at eight and a half inches.

The teams that drafted a highly ranked quarterback not named Pickett were the Falcons, Titans, Panthers, and Commanders. It’s no guarantee that these were the teams that passed on Pickett solely because of his hand size, but they all did pass on Pickett in the first round. Where are they now?

Atlanta is attempting to move forward with their third-round pick from last year, Desmond Ridder. Ridder made four starts last year, winning two and losing two. He only averaged 177 passing yards per game while throwing two touchdowns in four games, but he had no interceptions. He’ll have to hold off former Washington starter Taylor Heinicke next year. Tennessee is still rolling with Ryan Tannehill, but the Titans drafted a quarterback in the second round this year in Will Levis who will now challenge last year’s third-round pick, Malik Willis, for the right to replace Tannehill eventually. Carolina traded for the No. 1 overall pick this year to draft a new starter in Bryce Young. Matt Coral, their third-round pick from last year, will be QB3 behind Young and Andy Dalton. Washington, like the Falcons, will try to start their fifth-round pick from last year, Sam Howell. Howell made one start last year, beating the Cowboys in the season finale while throwing for 169 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. They have veteran Jacoby Brissett as a strong backup plan.

Pickett took over as the Steelers’ starter in Week 4 of his rookie season and only missed one game after. He started 12 of 13 appearances throwing for 2,404 yards for seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. He added 237 yards and three scores on the ground. He won Pittsburgh’s season-long quarterback competition last year and is expected to be the continued starter in a very similar-looking position room this year with the most experience of any of last year’s rookie quarterbacks. Was it worth it to pass on Pickett because of his hand size? It may be too early to tell, but even the teams sitting in a better position now than they were before the 2022 draft look better despite their quarterback choice last year. As of right now, Pickett appears to have to most potential of the second-year quarterbacks, aside from maybe Brock Purdy.

Here are some other rumors surrounding the Steelers’ quarterbacks:

  • Neither Mason Rudolph nor Mitchell Trubisky were expected to return to the Steelers this offseason. Trubisky was pleasantly surprised after not expecting to be brought back but says it was an “easy decision” to return, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rudolph didn’t intend to return, feeling he was treated unfairly last season. He even asserts that he had offers from other teams this offseason. Ultimately, after rookie minicamps concluded, nothing materialized into a new deal and Rudolph wanted to be with a team by the start of organized team activities. He opted to remain in Pittsburgh as opposed to starting fresh somewhere new.
  • Dulac provided us with some new details on Trubisky’s new contract, as well. The $8MM that Trubisky was reported to be making this year is composed of the veteran minimum salary of $1.08MM and a signing bonus of $6.92MM. Dulac adds that “it was (Trubisky’s) relationship with Pickett – and the way he put aside the disappointment of being benched early in the season – that drove the Steelers to extend” the veteran quarterback.

Steelers To Extend QB Mitch Trubisky

MAY 19: Trubisky’s new deal will guarantee him $8MM this year, Jeremy Fowler of tweets. From 2023-25, Pittsburgh’s backup quarterback will be tied to a $19.4MM base package, Rapoport notes (via Twitter). More incentives are present in this deal, with Rapoport adding Trubisky can earn up to $33MM on it. The Steelers have since confirmed the through-2025 extension.

MAY 18: The Steelers are arranging the seats in their quarterback room this week. Shortly after agreeing to terms on a third Mason Rudolph contract, the team is moving toward a Mitch Trubisky extension.

Second-year GM Omar Khan said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show the team is working on an extension with its backup quarterback (video link). Indicating the deal will be done shortly, Khan is prepared to continue the Steelers’ relationship with a quarterback initially signed during Kevin Colbert‘s final months as GM.

The deal is done,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The move will push Trubisky’s contract beyond 2023 and reduce the quarterback’s cap number from its present $10.6MM place. It is a two-year extension, which will keep Trubisky tied to the Steelers through 2025.

Trubisky initially agreed to a two-year, $14.3MM deal with incentives that could take it beyond that point. But Kenny Pickett replaced Trubisky as the team’s starter early last season, removing the incentives from the equation. But the former No. 2 overall pick has hovered on the extension radar for a bit. Despite being yanked as the Steelers’ starter, Trubisky is set to remain Pickett’s backup beyond this season.

Multiple teams pursued Trubisky last year, which came after he spent a season as Josh Allen‘s backup in Buffalo. Trubisky is obviously best known for his tenure in Chicago and likely will be unable to change that for the foreseeable future. The Bears traded up to draft the one-year North Carolina starter in 2017, and that move is now remembered for the team passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Trubisky fell far short of expectations in the Windy City, and the Bears passed on his fifth-year option — even as that decision did not include a full guarantee at that point — and let him walk in free agency in 2021.

The Steelers’ first Trubisky agreement came a few weeks before the Pickett draft investment, reminding of the Bears’ 2017 plan. Chicago had signed Mike Glennon to a multiyear deal before drafting Trubisky. The ex-Tar Heel replaced Glennon as Chicago’s starter in Week 5 of the 2017 season; Pickett made his first Steelers start in Week 5 of last season.

Trubisky, 28, became needed at points after being supplanted. Pickett sustained two concussions during his rookie season, bringing Trubisky back for a Week 6 relief effort — a win over the Buccaneers — and two December appearances. Trubisky also helped the Steelers to a win over the Panthers, as the team rallied from 2-6 to keep Mike Tomlin‘s .500-or-better streak intact. As a regular starter, Trubisky did not do much to hold off Pickett. But the Steelers clearly value the veteran as their top reserve.

Once Pickett stepped in last October, Pittsburgh’s QB outlook appeared foggy behind its starter. Rudolph played out his second contract and Trubisky could have pursued another free agency route in an attempt to at least earn another crack as a bridge QB. Not unlike Charlie Batch‘s conversion from Lions starter to Steelers backup once upon a time, Trubisky will opt to stick around in Pittsburgh rather than pursuing a quick path that would allow for a starter competition elsewhere.

Steelers Want To Retain Mitch Trubisky, Open To New Mason Rudolph Deal

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.