Steelers Officially Sign Mason Rudolph, Make Two Other Moves
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made official the re-signing of quarterback Mason Rudolph to a one-year contract, per a three-move team announcement on Wednesday.
Terms of the one-year deal were not released. Rudolph took a free agent visit with the Steelers on Tuesday, and was expected to re-join the only NFL team he has ever played for since he was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Rudolph, 27, spent the 2022 season as the Steelers’ third-string quarterback and dressed in just one game.
Before that, Rudolph was the top backup to Ben Roethlisberger from 2019-21. Rudolph played in 17 games in that stretch, making 10 starts, most of them in 2019.
Rudolph has thrown for 2,366 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has a career 61.5 completion percentage and 80.9 passer rating.
Rudolph was expected to be a successor to Roethlisberger, but things didn’t go as planned, starting in the 2019 season, when Roethlisberger was injured and Rudolph was unable to grab hold of the job, ceding playing time to undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges.
He played better in sparing action in 2020 and 2021 and Rudolph signed a two-year contract extension in 2021 that again seemed to have him poised as the Steelers’ follow-up to Big Ben. But then the team signed Mitch Trubisky in free agency and drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, which seemed to seal Rudolph’s fate in Pittsburgh.
The three quarterbacks entered into a three-way battle for the starter’s job in training camp, but it seemed clear that Trubisky was the front-runner throughout and Rudolph was relegated to third string.
A free agent after the season, Rudolph apparently did not garner any interest from other clubs and will return to Pittsburgh to again be the third-string quarterback behind Pickett and Trubisky.
Rudolph is extremely familiar with Matt Canada’s offense, spending the 2020 season with him as quarterbacks coach before Canada became offensive coordinator in 2021.
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The Steelers other option for their third quarterback is undrafted rookie Tanner Morgan out of Minnesota, who was assigned Rudolph’s No. 2 when he joined the team just after the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Steelers also had former Virginia and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins and ex-Clemson backup Hunter Johnson in for tryouts at their rookie minicamp this past weekend.
In addition to announcing the Rudolph signing, the Steelers also made official deals for two former XFL players: cornerback Luq Barcoo and wide receiver Hakeem Butler.