4 Pittsburgh Steelers players who deserve to outlast Mike Tomlin but won't

The Pittsburgh Steelers will bring back Mike Tomlin and perhaps even extend him. However, not all of his players will be as lucky.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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3. Mason Rudolph definitely won't outlast Mike Tomlin as Steelers coach

Mason Rudolph is a free agent after starting the Steelers final three games of the regular season and performing admirably. Rudolph deserves a chance to compete for a starting job next season, but that may not occur in Pittsburgh.

Rudolph has a history of being on the short end of the stick with the Steelers. First, he was brought in as Ben Roethlisberger's heir-apparent, only for the future Hall of Famer to avoid mentoring him at all cost. Then, Rudolph thought he'd get a realistic chance of starting over Mitch Trubisky and then-rookie Kenny Pickett, only to be forced to third string on the depth chart. Rudolph loves being a Steeler, but Pittsburgh doesn't love him back.

The smart move for the Steelers to make would be to bring back Rudolph and let him compete with Pickett for the starting job in training camp. Yet, it's tough to believe Tomlin would give him much of a chance given his end-of-season press conference comments.

"I'm extremely confident in him," Tomlin said of Pickett. "I feel stronger about some of the intangible things than I did obviously when we first started doing business with him because I have evidence of it."

That doesn't sound good for Rudolph.