INDIANAPOLIS — The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to retain backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky for the 2023 season — and maybe beyond — despite his elevated salary cap hit, general manager Omar Khan said on Tuesday.
Trubisky signed a two-year contract last offseason to the the Steelers’ starting quarterback, but lost his starting job to Kenny Pickett just three and a half weeks into the 2022 season.
But Trubisky played better later in the season in two appearances as a backup after Pickett was injured. Those instances — and the way that Trubisky handled matters in things being turned over to the youngster — showed his value to the team moving forward.
“Mitch has been awesome since the day he got here,” Khan said. “How he’s been with Kenny has been great. I want Mitch around.”
Pickett talked extensively about how much of a help Trubisky was in making his transition to the NFL, and there’s been no sign of contention between the two, despite Pickett usurping Trubisky’s role as starting quarterback.
“I think any young quarterback will tell you, having that veteran presence around them is tremendous, especially a guy like Mitch, who just handles things so well,” Khan said.
The only hiccup seems to Trubisky’s salary cap hit, which will be high for a backup quarterback. Trubisky is set to earn $8 million in salary, along with a $2.625 million pro-rated signing bonus, in 2023.
That would make him among the league’s more expensive backups, though the Steelers would not be spending that much on the quarterback position overall with Pickett on a rookie deal. Khan, who was the team’s salary cap guru before becoming the general manager in 2022, did not seem overly concerned with the layout involved in retaining Trubisky, and even hinted that the team maybe interested in extending Trubisky’s contract.
“I don’t want to get into contractual details right now,” Khan said. “Mitch has been great, he’s been great to have around and we’re looking forward to having him around not only this year, but for a long time.”
It’s unclear if Trubisky would be interested in signing up to stay in Pittsburgh for even longer with Pickett seemingly entrenched as a starter, but if the Steelers were able to work out a contract extension with Trubisky, that could alleviate some of the short-term salary cap impacts of keeping him around.