Steelers urgency to re-sign Mason Rudolph even greater now

Mason Rudolph has the Pittsburgh Steelers right where he wants them: A little on the needy side.

The Steelers are right back to where they were after Ben Roethlisberger finally retired: Without a quarterback they’re confident can be the new face of the franchise. Kevin Colbert thought he had Pittsburgh set up for success after he retired—a veteran starter in Mitch Trubisky and a young and eager rookie in Kenny Pickett. One is no longer with the team and the other is heading into a make-or-break third season.

That’s where Rudolph comes in. 8-4-1 as a starter is a solid record he (and the Steelers) should feel good about. He’ll have to learn and adjust to the new system Arthur Smith is implementing, but his familiarity with the digs should help that process along. There are worse options for both parties.

Still, Rudolph’s best chance to take the field in 2024 is with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Injury-prone Pickett hasn’t played a full season, and there’s no reason to think he suddenly will going forward. Backing up in the same place he has since he was drafted probably isn’t his ideal scenario, but if he wants to play, Pittsburgh is where it’s at.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, who’s been covering the Steelers longer than some of you reading this have been alive, is convinced the team is not bringing in a veteran starter. He is apparently as close as a reporter can get to team president Art Rooney II, and while he’s occasionally been wrong about assertions in the past, this doesn’t seem like one of them.

“In any event, the Steelers are not interested in bringing in a quarterback who wants to be a starter,” Dulac wrote on Feb. 17. “That would include Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins, and probably even Russell Wilson, who has a connection with the Steelers. They are committed to giving Pickett a third season to see if he is the guy to do more than just win a playoff game — something they haven’t done in a franchise-record seven years.”

If all the fantasizing about Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins is just that, Pittsburgh’s top priority should be ensuring Rudolph doesn’t go anywhere. Next should be hoping Pickett can develop into the first-round quarterback they drafted him to be.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire