The Steelers have named their next starting quarterback following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger — for now, at least.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert says fourth-year quarterback Mason Rudolph is Pittsburgh’s best inside option; if the season started today, Colbert told reporters Monday, Rudolph would be the starter.
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Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert on inside QB options: “If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter. He’s 5-4-1 as a starter. We’re excited to see what the next step for Mason.”
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 21, 2022
Colbert also added that the Steelers intend to add to the position and head to training camp with four quarterbacks. After Roethlisberger’s retirement, the three quarterbacks still on the team are Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs.
“We have confidence that Mason Rudolph, if we were to start the season today – and that would ultimately be Coach (Mike) Tomlin’s decision – Mason would be our starter and we’re excited to see where that can go,” said said Colbert, through the team website. “We’re excited to see what’s next for Mason. And if we add to this position, we’ll be looking at all possible avenues, as we really do for all other positions.”
Rudolph has the most experience and the best stats of the trio, posting the best record as a starter (5-4-1). However, the majority of those wins came during his rookie campaign in 2019, when he went 5-3. It went 0-1 in 2020 and 0-0-1 in 2021.
For his career, Rudolph completed 236 of 384 passes (2,366 yards) for 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
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Haskins is probably Rudolph’s biggest internal challenger for the starting quarterback job. The No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft has a 3-10 career record as a starter, all for COs. He didn’t record stats in his freshman year in Pittsburgh. To date, he has completed 267 of 444 passes (60.1%) for 2,804 yards and 12 touchdowns for 14 interceptions.
Of course, the Steelers also have the option of adding a quarterback to the mix via the NFL Draft (The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer projects the Steelers to draft Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick) or via free agency. (considering Tomlin doesn’t want a rookie quarterback, according to an October report from Fox Sports Jay Glazer).
Reports have linked Pittsburgh to 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The ninth-year quarterback — who has a 31-14 career record in San Francisco and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl 54 appearance — represents the likeliest trade acquisition for the Steelers as a quarterback, although other potential additions include Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and, potentially, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.