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Mason Rudolph Era in Pittsburgh Likely Over after Russell Wilson Signing



Steelers Quarterback Mason Rudolph
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

With former Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson agreeing to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s hard to imagine Mason Rudolph returning. The chances are pretty much next to zero.

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reported that Rudolph’s camp met with the Steelers on Sunday, but obviously, with Wilson joining the Steelers that shakes things up dramatically.

“Mason Rudolph’s people met with the Steelers today and we know how that went. Never say never but something crazy would have to happen for Rudolph to return to the Steelers,” Kaboly wrote on X.

Wilson will join the team after visiting Pittsburgh on Friday, meaning that the deal is getting over the hump. It is a one-year deal, which will be a team-friendly move.

Wilson had a long meeting with the team, including Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Friday when he visited the facility, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports. The deal will come in at just over $1 million.

The Steelers were searching for competition for starting quarterback Kenny Pickett, and Wilson represented some of the strongest available competition on the open market. He could also came at a minuscule price. The Broncos gave Wilson a guaranteed $39 million in salary for the 2024 season, and any amount the Steelers or any other team would pay him would simply be removed from Denver’s commitments.

Steelers general manager Omar Khan said at the NFL Combine that he and the Steelers have “full faith” in Pickett being the team’s starting quarterback. It seems like Khan was bluffing, as Wilson surely will be the favorite to win the starting job. Even though the Steelers will label it as a competition.

After Pickett was injured and Mitch Trubisky benched for ineffectiveness, Rudolph took the reins and didn’t give them back, leading the Steelers to three straight victories to close the 2023 season and lead the club back into the playoffs.

Mason Rudolph finished with a career-best 74.3% completion percentage and 118 passer rating in the regular season. His three-game stretch to close 2023 was the best such run for a Steelers quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow injury.

Rudolph should receive a good amount of interest on the open market.