Mason Rudolph Leads the List of Candidates to Be the Pittsburgh Steelers Next Starting Quarterback
The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely enter the 2022 season with a new quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but all signs point to him hanging it up after the 2021 season.
For the first time since 2004, the Steelers would need a quarterback. They have options, ranging from their roster, free agency, trade market, and NFL Draft. It’ll be interesting to see which path they take.
It might be months before they decide, but SportsBetting.ag already has odds available for their next starting quarterback. Let’s check out the odds.
Pittsburgh Steelers Next Starting Quarterback Odds
It’s no secret that Ben Roethlisberger will announce his retirement this offseason. That leaves an opening for one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph has the best odds, but he isn’t the only contender.
Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo represent the top trade targets. Carr is going into the final year of his contract, while Garoppolo could be on his way out with Trey Lance expected to take over in 2022.
Kenny Pickett is the top quarterback available in the NFL Draft. Pickett played at the University of Pittsburgh, so it’d be a nice transition. However, there’s a chance he won’t be on the board for Pittsburgh’s pick.
There’s a reason Rudolph opens as the favorite to replace Roethlisberger. Let’s talk about it.
Why Is Rudolph Favored to Be the Steelers Next Starting Quarterback?
Mason Rudolph has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2019. He immediately found himself in the spotlight when Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2.
If you include the game he relieved Roethlisberger, Rudolph had a very respectable start to his career. He didn’t have a ton of passing yards, but he put the Steelers in position to win. He missed their Week 6 game with a concussion but returned for Week 8.
That was the start of his downfall. Let’s compare his numbers early in the season to post Week 7.
|Week 2 – Week 5||Week 8 – Week 12|
Pittsburgh benched him, but he returned in Week 16 against the New York Jets. In 2020, Rudolph only saw significant action in the Steelers season finale. He put up surprisingly good numbers with 315 yards and two touchdowns.
Last season, Rudolph made one start when Roethlisberger went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Rudolph took on a big role, passing the ball 50 times against the Detroit Lions. He finished the game with 242 yards, a touchdown, and two turnovers. The game ended in a tie.
Rudolph knows the system better than any other potential Steelers quarterback. He also has a $4 million cap hit for the 2022 season. That’s slightly more than a rookie quarterback, but this is a weak quarterback class, and there’s a strong chance their top choice isn’t on the board.
Going with Rudolph allows them to use that first-round pick on a different position. We know they need to upgrade their offensive line.
The State of Steelers Football
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best coaches in the league in Mike Tomlin. He alone would give me confidence in the Steelers, no matter who they start at quarterback.
I believe Pittsburgh will give Rudolph the chance to start at quarterback, but if someone falls in the NFL Draft or someone’s trade value comes down, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them make a move.
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