I hope you’re sitting down for this, but from the sounds of it, the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have any intentions of taking a shot at landing either Jameis Winston or Cam Newton, the two most prominent quarterbacks remaining on the open market. Winston, a former first-round draft pick, had his rookie contract expire, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead landing Tom Brady.
As for Newton, he battled injuries throughout the 2019 season. With a regime change taking place, the Carolina Panthers opted to move in a different direction, signing Teddy Bridgewater in free agency, and they ultimately sought to trade Newton but instead ended up releasing him.
In spite of the fact that Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, and Art Rooney II all made it abundantly clear that the Steelers were not giving consideration to the veteran quarterback market in no small part because they remained comfortable with Mason Rudolph, their 2018 third-round pick, many have continued to try top plant one of these quarterbacks in Pittsburgh.
Ed Bouchette, writing for The Athletic, recently spoke to The Fan about these rumors, and safe to say, he wasn’t having it. “First of all, what I would like to know is who’s doing the whispering? I don’t think they’re hearing any of that coming out of Pittsburgh, first of all”.
“I think that if Jameis Winston would come for $5 million a year, maybe they’d take a look. But do you see that happening? I mean, maybe he gets squeezed so much it could. And then, yeah, okay, roll the dice, what do you have to lose? One year? I’d want him for two, but yeah, one year, $5 million? Sure, go ahead. See if Mason beats him out, and then you could just cut him”.
“I don’t see any other veterans. Andy Dalton? Forget Cam Newton. Somebody asked me if they should kick the tires on Newton. My god, if you do that, he’ll go back on injured reserve”.
He was then asked for his opinion as to whether or not the Steelers should be looking to the market to find somebody to push Rudolph and challenge him for the backup role. “I wouldn’t be against that. If I’m running the Steelers, I’d look into it”, he said. “There’s nothing wrong with competition. Competition makes everybody better. So you bring somebody in to compete with Mason Rudolph, see what happens. Previously I was operating under the assumption that they have no money. Now they do”.
Still, he also added that, again, none of these reports, rumors, whispers, or indications are coming from anywhere in Pittsburgh, or at least anywhere within the city limits that actually matters. “From everything they’ve said, it doesn’t sound like that’s something that they want to do”, he said. And, of course, we already knew that, because they said it publicly half a dozen times.