The Pittsburgh Steelers still have to figure out the concrete plan at quarterback for the 2024 season. One of the names that appear involved is Kenny Pickett, but with Mason Rudolph as a free agent and Mitch Trubisky seemingly out the door, any other than Pickett is.
But the Steelers did declare that they would like to see Rudolph return
“It is,” Tomlin said of the team’s intentions to re-sign Rudolph. “But he is a free agent, and it is free agency, and so we’ll see where that leads us.”
.After their loss to the Buffalo Bills, Mason Rudolph said he is unsure of his future with the team. Free agency is something that Rudolph experienced before, but this time around, it is likely to be vastly different.
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.
“I don’t think any of us can deny what we’ve seen over the last month or so,” Tomlin said. “I cannot underscore how impressive it is to be ready. Forget performance man, to be ready to deliver. And he was, and that preparedness showed. So certainly we are less speculative about his capabilities because there’s evidence of it.”
The Steelers have moves to make, but their offensive coordinator hire will determine how well they can concoct all of these ideas and meld them together at quarterback. Someone with quarterback guru experience, or at least experience dealing with young quarterbacks, is a big key to all of this. To retain Rudolph, it seems he would need assurances that he could compete for the starting job.