With the report that the Pittsburgh Steelers do intend to honor Ben Roethlisberger’s contract through the 2021 season, one of the questions that arises from that is, where does that leave Mason Rudolph? The fourth-year quarterback is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and they still don’t know what kind of future he has in front of him.
The great thing about being able to draft a guy who right away becomes your franchise quarterback is that you have cheap labor at the most important position of the game for three or four years. With Rudolph due to become a free agent after this year, the Steelers won’t be that lucky in the even that he eventually shows himself to be a starter.
At least when they talk about him, though, it’s pretty clear that they like him, and that was something that former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch talked about when he appeared on the Zach Gelb Show yesterday in the wake of the Roethlisberger report.
“They really like Mason Rudolph on the Steelers’ roster. The Steelers’ front office, personnel, they really like where they’re at”, he said. “Yes, they drafted him in the third round, but they actually had a first-round grade on him. They believe in what’s going to happen there”.
He was asked about how this relates to the Steelers possibly drafting a quarterback this year, but I’m not sure I much agree with his reasoning, talking about the possibility of losing both Joshua Dobbs and Rudolph, two mid-round picks.
“I just don’t believe that they draft a quarterback because that means”, he said, “a few years ago, you drafted in 2017 Joshua Dobbs. He walks out the door in free agency this year. Now you have Mason Rudolph, who will be entering into his final year of the deal, and he was a third-round draft pick. Can you afford to let two of your picks walk out of that door with no compensation”.
I certainly don’t expect that to mean anything. Dobbs became a theoretical sunken cost as soon as the Steelers decided to trade up to draft Rudolph. And as for Rudolph, his future is in his hands. If he gets a chance to play this year and looks like a starter, the Steelers have to find a way to pay him before somebody else does.
“I think for the first eight games that he started two years ago, when you look at what happened there, he did have a couple games where he played well”, Batch said. “It was just the fact that he got injured. And then he ended up getting benched for that period of time in the middle of the season, and he went on a run”.
The front office has also been high on his performance at the end of this past season, in which he crossed the 300-yard mark for the first time and tossed a couple of touchdowns, showing accuracy on the deep ball. But how much will he play before his contract is up?
— CBS Sports Radio (@CBSSportsRadio) February 24, 2021