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Mitch Trubisky ‘Thankful’ for Early Release by Steelers



Mitch Trubisky Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky after a game against the Buffalo Bills on January 15, 2024 -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky was released by Pittsburgh a day after the Super Bowl so he would get an early start in the free agency process. That paid dividends as Trubisky agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, the same team that he played for prior to signing with the Steelers in March of 2022. He’ll serve as the backup quarterback for All-Pro Josh Allen again.

Trubisky met with Buffalo media members on Thursday, and he expressed appreciation to Steelers general manager Omar Khan for being a class act.

“It was very chill, to be honest with you,” Trubisky said about the free agency process. “It wasn’t like my other free agencies. I was thankful that the Steelers released me earlier than free agency actually started, so my agent was able to start talking to some teams. And so I took a very relaxed approach.”

The Steelers released Trubisky, offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor and punter Pressley Harvin III on Feb 12. Khan said at the NFL Combine that the Steelers felt like the right thing to do was to release those guys early so they would be given an opportunity to hit the free agency market sooner rather than later. The Steelers did the same for center Mason Cole, who they released on Feb. 23.

The writing was on the wall that Trubisky wouldn’t be back after he was benched for Mason Rudolph late in the 2023 season. Despite things not working out, Trubisky is grateful for his time in Pittsburgh.

“It was a good mutual breakup, I guess you would call it,” Trubisky said. “I mean, there were rumblings that they were going to do it. And so, my mindset was if it’s going to happen, it’d probably be more beneficial to do it sooner rather than later to help me get a head start in free agency. … I’m thankful for that and I’m thankful for my time there.”

Along with Trubisky returning to Buffalo, Okorafor agreed to terms with the New England Patriots on Thursday. Harvin and Cole remain unsigned.

The new contract between the Bills and Trubisky will pay him $5.25 million over two seasons and guarantee him $2.7 million in 2024, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

That is nearly the amount that the Steelers would have paid Trubisky if he had remained on their roster in 2024. The Steelers shaved $2.9 million from their 2024 salary cap rolls by releasing Trubisky and incurred a dead cap charge of $4.6 million. So Trubisky will lose only $200,000 in actual cash for the 2024 season after being released by the Steelers.

The new contract will pay Trubisky $2.55 million in 2025, while he was set to become a free agent next offseason under his deal with the Steelers. There are also playing time incentives which could raise the total value of the contract to $8.45 million.

Trubisky was cut after a disastrous 2023 season in Pittsburgh. He filled in for Kenny Pickett three times when the Steelers’ starter left the game with an injury, and after Pickett suffered a significant ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 3, Trubisky became the Steelers’ starter.

Things didn’t go well for Trubisky or the Steelers, as the team lost to the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in consecutive weeks, seeing their playoff hopes pushed to the brink. Trubisky was benched at the end of the Colts game in favor of Mason Rudolph and did not return to action in 2023.

On the season, Trubisky completed 67 of 107 passes for 632 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. The Steelers lost all five games in which he appeared.

Trubisky appeared in six games with the Bills in 2021, but threw just eight passes, completing six for 43 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Kyle Allen backed up Josh Allen in 2023, and did not throw a pass. Kyle Allen is set to become a free agent.