As expected, Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II didn’t reveal anything earth-shattering during his roughly 20-minute-long conference call with Steelers Nation Unite on Wednesday. That said, Rooney did indicate on Wednesday that the team is probably unlikely to add another backup quarterback during free agency this offseason.
Rooney’s comments on the Steelers possibly not addressing the quarterback position this year during free agency came in his response to a fan question asking if the team has plans to add a free agent quarterback, running back or wide receiver this offseason.
“As I mentioned before, we are in the process now of preparing for free agency and the new league year starts on March 18th, so there’s nothing we can really do between now and then other than prepare for it,” Rooney said in response to the question. “But certainly, we’ll be looking for opportunities to, if we can, add a player that we think can help us, whether it’s a wide receiver or running back.
“I’m not sure about quarterback, whether we’ll have an opportunity to sign anybody. I think we’re pretty comfortable with the people we have on the roster right now in terms of Ben [Roethlisberger] and Mason [Rudolph] and I think we’ll have Duck [Devlin Hodges] and Paxton Lynch back and participating, competing in camp and things like that this year. So, but it’s a long process, as I mentioned before, and a lot of pieces to the puzzle that we’ve got to look at to get ready for free agency and we’ll be working hard on that between now and March 18th.”
Wednesday morning, Brooke Pryor of espn.com offered up her bold offseason prediction for the Steelers and that is that the team would sign a veteran quarterback during free agency. Based on what Rooney said during Wednesday’s conference call and what head coach Mike Tomlin said immediately after the 2019 season ended, it’s probably very unlikely that the team will add a veteran quarterback during free agency.
Currently, the Steelers have five quarterbacks under contract for the 2020 season and they are Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges, Paxton Lynch and J.T. Barrett.
As for whether the Steelers will add another running back or wide receiver during free agency, while I suppose such additions are possible, the team isn’t likely to have very much cap space available to go free agent shopping with. That said, Rooney revealed a very, very broad Steelers plan for free agency this offseason on Wednesday.
“The new league year starts March 18th, so that’s when free agency will start,” Rooney said in response to a Wednesday fan question. “And so that’ll be the first piece of the puzzle is trying to sign some of our players that might become free agents as well as potentially signing some new players that are free agents from other teams. And it’s always a busy couple of months here getting ready for that.”