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Peter King Scorches Steelers QB Plan: ‘Colossal Misjudgment’

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ reported plan of working with Kenny Pickett and bringing Mason Rudolph does not have approval from everyone.



Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph at practice on Dec. 28, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ plan at quarterback has been talked about and scrutinized over the past few weeks. But this weekend it took another turn. It was revealed they are not interested in signing or otherwise acquiring a quarterback that will demand to be the team’s starter, as first reported by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Steelers Now was able to confirm that the Steelers are not actively seeking an external starting quarterback.

The Steelers have publicly committed to giving Kenny Pickett another shot as the team’s starting quarterback, though head coach Mike Tomlin promised that he will face competition for the role.

That competition apparently will not extend to signing a player that would come with an expectation of starting like Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields or Russell Wilson. The Steelers have been listed among the betting favorites to land both Fields and Wilson, but there are significant hurdles to each joining the team, beyond the Steelers having committed to Pickett as the starter.

But Peter King caught wind of the report and does not understand the idea of keeping Pickett the starter or in a competition with someone like Rudolph.

“Longtime beat man on the team Gerry Dulac reported the other day that the Steelers ‘are not interested in bringing in a quarterback who wants to be a starter.’ Come again? In a division with Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, the Steelers would actually choose to enter camp with Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph (should he sign in free agency with Pittsburgh)? That sounds like a colossal misjudgment of your quarterback position,” King wrote.

It seems likely that Rudolph will wish to test the waters and see what his options are around the league when free agency opens. The Steelers likely will not want to wait for that process to play out to make their own decision at quarterback.

So who does that leave if not Rudolph? The Steelers will likely look for another quarterback from the second tier of available options, such as Ryan Tannehill, Jacoby Brissett, Sam Darnold, Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Mariota, Drew Lock, Gardner Minshew, Tyler Huntley, Joe Flacco, Blaine Gabbert, Carson Wentz and Joshua Dobbs.

The Steelers will also likely look to the 2024 NFL Draft to bolster their quarterback depth, though it is unlikely they’ll find an immediate starting option there this year, either.