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Mason Rudolph’s Camp Expects Opportunities Elsewhere, Won’t Close Door on Return

Mason Rudolph’s expects that there will be opportunities out there for him but will not close the door on a return.



Steelers QB Mason Rudolph
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph runs off the field against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 6, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers will go into free agency looking to re-sign Mason Rudolph. They have made the very public implications about their want for Rudolph to return after soaring the team to the playoffs over the season’s final stretch. But he is a free agent and could have options to choose from on the open market. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network is not sure that Rudolph will return, but the door is not closed.

“My understanding is that the door is not closed on Mason Rudolph possibly returning to Pittsburgh,” Garafolo said on The Insiders. “But they do expect, his camp, does expect that there will be opportunities elsewhere potentially for him. Particularly because he did play well in spot starts down the stretch.”

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