Steelers QB implies team misled him about his status

Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Mason Rudolph implies the Pittsburgh Steelers misled him about his status with the team.

Mason Rudolph’s fourth season with the Pittsburgh Steelers is looking like it will be his last.

Selected in the third round out of Oklahoma State to be Ben Roethlisberger’s heir apparent in 2018, Rudolph is running out of time to prove he is worthy of being the franchise’s starting quarterback. He split time with Devlin “Duck” Hodges in 2019 when Big Ben tore his UCL. Since getting bonked in the head by Myles Garrett, the Steelers made moves to go in another direction.

After Roethlisberger hung up the spikes, the Steelers signed Mitch Trubisky in free agency and then selected Pitt product Kenny Pickett in the 2022 NFL Draft. The expectation is Trubisky will keep the seat warm until Pickett and his two gloves are ready to take over Matt Canada’s offense. In the meantime, Rudolph seems to feel like he has been sold a bill of goods about winning the job.

You can sense the frustration he is feeling about how things are going for him in training camp.

Rudolph is not going to win the starting job in Pittsburgh, so it may be time for him to move on.

Mason Rudolph looks frustrated about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback situation

Although Rudolph is not a starting-level quarterback, he is certainly better-than-average when it comes to being an NFL backup. Unfortunately, his role with the team has been greatly diminished with the free-agent acquisition of Trubisky and the selection of Pickett in last spring’s draft. While the Steelers may still want to keep him, he is in the final year of his rookie contract with the team.

In short, there are plenty of other teams where Rudolph would be the clear backup outside of Pittsburgh. He may have to go to a worse situation to get playing time, but the ball will finally be in his court next spring, regardless of what the Steelers’ plans are for him going forward this season. Ultimately, they hold all the cards in this situation until they let him walk, or grant him his release.

Let’s be real. Had the Steelers not signed Trubisky or not drafted Pickett, Rudolph would have a legitimate shot of winning the starting job. Beating out one of them in camp was not an impossibility, but beating out both was an impossible ask, especially with the odds stacked against him. If Rudolph is clearly going to be the Steelers’ third-stringer, then they should just let him go.

Rudolph may feel a bit misled here, but everybody and their brother knew this day was coming.

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