The NFL has called Mason Rudolph back for another audition. He saved the Pittsburgh Steelers from missing the postseason for the second straight year, giving 31 other teams a chance to see if he might fit what they’re looking to do in 2024.
Rudolph won’t only be fighting for Pittsburgh’s postseason life Monday evening in Buffalo but also for his future as a potential starter.
Chances are, it’ll be in another city for another team.
Rudolph could be at the forefront in what’s a relatively underwhelming free-agent quarterback class. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons could have their eye on the veteran, watching closely his performance tomorrow in Buffalo.
Given what we’ve seen these past few weeks, expect Rudolph to come to Highmark Stadium with confidence and poise. But those traits will be tested by a Bills defense that is worlds more stingy than the Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks and JVs of the Baltimore Ravens reserves.
Their ninth-ranked pass defense has allowed the seventh-fewest yards (280.7) by quarterbacks over the last three games. The unit held the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa to 173 yards and a score while picking him off twice last week. In Week 15, it limited Dak Prescott to 134 yards and no touchdowns with one interception.
Rudolph will be under tremendous pressure, both mentally and physically, to win a playoff game in miserable conditions. To say it’s a tall task would be an understatement.
If the Steelers can’t pull off the improbable, we’ll have likely seen the last of Rudolph in the Black and Gold. If they win and advance to the second round, it’ll increase his chances for a big payday — but it won’t be in Pittsburgh.