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Mason Rudolph Tabbed as One of the Best Free Agent QBs

One former NFL general manager believes that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is one of the NFL’s best QB free agents.



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph at practice on Sept. 6, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have publicly declared their interest in bringing back quarterback Mason Rudolph. A soon-to-be free agent, Rudolph is likely to hit the open market and could see what other teams will offer him. And former NFL general manager Randy Mueller believes that Rudolph is one of the better quarterbacks on the market.

In his new rankings with the Athletic, Mueller has Rudolph as the sixth-best quarterback in free agency ahead of guys like Joe Flacco, Jacoby Brissett, Gardner Minshew, and Jameis Winston. Rudolph is one spot behind Ryan Tannehill, while Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Darnold outrank him.

Of course, with those players listed, Mason Rudolph is actually the second-youngest, tied with Mayfield. Only Darnold is younger at the age of 27.

It was a surprise season for Rudolph, who entered as the team’s No. 3 quarterback, only to take the reins after Kenny Pickett was injured and Mitch Trubisky was ineffective.

For a player that was a free agent last offseason, only to get no offers and return as the Steelers’ No. 3, the strong end of season play has likely opened up some doors to his continued employment in the NFL — and at a higher level than the veteran-minimum contract he played on in 2023.

But during his exit meetings with Tomlin and general manager Omar Khan, Rudolph said that both men expressed their interest in welcoming him back.

“Yeah, it was good. Visited with Mike T and Omar both and … it was so early, like three or four days after we played our last game, and there’s a lot neither side knows,” Rudolph said on the Ramon Foster Show. “I felt like they meant it when they said they’d like to have me back, and I feel like they want to do future business with me. That’s good to hear. But like you said, there are so many variables and it’s still so early, it’s still January, so who knows what will happen?”

Coming off the bench cold is tough, but Rudolph’s play inspired confidence in him from the staff. Tomlin hopes they can get Rudolph back due to his level of play. He played like a fringe starting quarterback in the NFL, and that was a higher level of play than Pittsburgh had received throughout the entire season.

So, Pittsburgh will have to see what Rudolph will get on the market and how competitive their offer will end up being to land him. But their hope is that Rudolph comes back for a competition with Kenny Pickett.