As teams prepare to release their 53-man roster, multiple teams want Mason Rudolph to be part of the equation. According to The Athletic’s Mark Caboli, the Steelers received a trade call for Rudolph this past week, but they have no interest in trading him unless the offer is too good to turn down.
The Steelers report that the reluctance to trade Rudolph makes sense because he’s the team’s only quarterback with experience in offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system. Rudolph also gave Pittsburgh coveted depth at arguably the league’s most important position.
Rudolph’s experience may be the reason Steelers general manager Omar Khan said recently that he doesn’t expect any changes to be made to Pittsburgh’s quarterback room before the regular season begins.
“We feel really good about these three quarterbacks,” Khan said recently on Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden’s “All Things Covered” podcast. “Coach will decide how things will work out, but we feel good about the three guys on our roster.”
As the longest-tenured Steelers quarterback, Rudolph has In the preseason, he went 26-for-39 for 220 yards with two touchdowns while playing in Pittsburgh’s second- and third-team offense. As Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback, the fifth-year veteran and former third-round pick has a 5-4-1 regular-season record. He started the summer as the Steelers’ No. 2 quarterback behind Mitchell Trubisky, but has since fallen behind rookie Kenny Pickett in the rankings.
While the Steelers’ quarterback game is billed as a three-player game, Truubis was out after Pittsburgh signed him to a two-year deal at the start of free agency. Key appears to have lost the job. After the team selected Pickett with the 20th overall pick in the April draft, Rudolph’s odds of being a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger dropped further.
Rudolph had little work on Pittsburgh’s first-team offense in the closing stages of training camp. He came off the bench for Trubisky in the Steelers’ first preseason game (passing a touchdown pass to rookie George Pickens in his third scrimmage), and then played in Trubisky in his third scrimmage. And Pickett behind against the Jaguars. Rudolph attempted just three passes in Pittsburgh’s preseason finale in a 19-9 victory over the Lions.
The 76th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Rudolph spent three years as a starter at Oklahoma State before coming to Pittsburgh, where he threw 92 TDs. Array, 26 interceptions. As a senior, he threw for nearly 5,000 yards while throwing for 37 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. Rudolph’s favorite target in college was James Washington, who was also a member of the Steelers’ 2018 rookie class.
Rudolph and Washington formed a successful partnership in 2019, helping the Steelers to an 8- 2019 loss in Week 2 to a season-ending injury 5 starts. The concussion on the Ravens, however, appeared to have a lingering effect on Rudolph, who ended up losing the starting spot to Devlin Hodges at the end of the season. While the Steelers finished with an 8-8 overall record, Rudolph still went 5-3 that season.
Rudolph has only started one game each of the past two seasons. In the final week of the 2020 season, he threw for 315 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-22 loss to the Browns. While he was impressive in that game, Rudolph wasn’t at his best in his last start, a 16-16 game against the Lions in Week 10 of the 2021 season tied.