The Pittsburgh Steelers have only three quarterbacks signed to their roster coming into spring football, but general manager Omar Khan said he’s open to adding to that number before the team sets out for training camp at St. Vincent College.
Under head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have taken four quarterbacks to camp every year, and while that used to be common around the league, it has become less so as fewer and fewer teams keep three quarterbacks on their active roster.
The Steelers have been a three-quarterback team, almost exclusively, but will head into OTAs with just three on their roster: starter Kenny Pickett, backup Mitch Trubisky and undrafted free agent Tanner Morgan from Minnesota.
In an appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday, Khan said that the team is willing to add to the position group, if he sees an opportunity, but did not sound like he sees it as essential.
“Every position that we have, we’re always looking to upgrade when we can,” Khan said. “So I would say that applies to every position. If there’s an opportunity to upgrade the depth, we’re going to do it an improve the competition, we will.”
When the Steelers had Ben Roethlisberger as their quarterback, the backups got significant practice reps, even down to the fourth-stringers in training camp. But last season, the Steelers drafted Chris Oladokun in the seventh round, only for him to barely take any reps during training camp and get released.
Kenny Pickett is expected to dominate the first-team reps as he goes through the offseason as the starter for the first time, and the team will want to get Mitch Trubisky ready to go as the backup, as well, not leaving many reps left for third- and fourth-string.
“It’s obviously important, but we feel good about Mitch,” Khan said. “We have a lot of faith in Mitch. Mitch has been great with Kenny. They have a great relationship. Mitch brings a lot to the table.
“We signed Tanner Morgan. Right now, he’s the only other quarterback not he roster right now. But as I mentioned, if there’s an opportunity to add someone else to the room and have them compete, we will. We’ll keep evaluating that as we are every other position.”
The Steelers have also invited Hunter Johnson, who was Clemson’s backup quarterback in 2022, and former Los Angeles Rams and Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins to their rookie minicamp, which starts Friday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Mason Rudolph, who was the team’s third-string quarterback in 2022, remains a free agent.