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Steelers Still Don’t Know What Mason Rudolph Will Do

The Pittsburgh Steelers will make a contract offer, but they have no true inkling on what Mason Rudolph will actually do.



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in a playoff game against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have publicly addressed that they would like to see the return of Mason Rudolph to their team. But if he will, that is anyone’s best guess. It seems the team will offer Rudolph a contract, and from there, Rudolph will have to see what offers come in. ESPN’s Brooke Pryor still is not sure that Rudolph would want to return if Pickett has been so publicly backed as the starter for next season.

“At this point, I think it’s kind of up in the air,” Pryor said recently on the Two on OSU podcast.”I’m interested to see if Mason wants an opportunity to prove himself somewhere else because of the roller coaster that he has been on throughout his career in Pittsburgh when there was essentially an open quarterback competition between Pickett and Trubisky, and Rudolph was supposed to be in the mix. But as we know, it was kind of, I hate to say, a sham competition, but it was pretty much known the whole time that it was going to be (Mitch) Trubisky, (Kenny) Pickett, and then Rudolph.”

In multiple interviews over the last few weeks, team president Art Rooney II has maintained that the team wants Mason Rudolph back with the team.

“Mason Rudolph came in and showed what we are capable of when we do get quality play at the quarterback position,” Rooney said. “We appreciate what Mason did and we are interested in bringing Mason back.”

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 in January. “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. Mike 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.