I’m not sure there are too many people out there right now who think Mason Rudolph is going to be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback in 2022, at least for the entire season. Whether it’s through free agency or the draft, or even through some other means, it is widely expected that the franchise that just watched its franchise quarterback retire will add some substantial player to the position to at least compete for the job.
It’s most fun, of course, to speculate about players who are already on other rosters and under contract for the 2022 season, since, for obvious reasons, those tend to be the better players. There has been an increase in the movement of significant quarterbacks in recent years, and players like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo have been connected with potential trade scenarios.
Some of them have been annual discussions, and shockingly, trades never materialize. But then again, we just saw a trade involving Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff last year, and it led to a Super Bowl title, so it seems a lot less crazy than it may once have.
If one of these major quarterbacks do get moved, where might they go? Former general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who has certainly had some interesting Steelers-related opinions in the past, sees the Pittsburgh Steelers as an obvious fit, at least in the case of one of them—Russell Wilson.
“They have a championship defense. They have a championship coach. And now, you pair that with Russell Wilson, and you have a chance now to compete”, he recently said on ESPN on the Get Up program. “If you’re the Steelers, you’ve got to be competing with Joe Burrow now, and you can’t overpay greatness”.
“To me, I get Seattle on the phone, and I do not get off the phone. I get Russell Wilson with Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. Watt, and all those stars, and we have a chance to go win the Super Bowl”, he added. He also contends that, with Wilson for either team, the Seahawks are further away from contending than the Steelers would be, arguing that it makes sense for them to trade him.
Wilson, who turned 33 in November, is not coming off of one of his better seasons, going 6-8 as a starter, and missing the first three games of his career. He completed 259 of 400 pass attempts for 3,113 yards with 25 touchdowns to six interceptions. He rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns, and fumbled six times.
The 10-year veteran is due $24 million in 2022, including a $5 million roster bonus. He is also under contract for 2023 at $27 million. You can probably guess that he would want to have his contract reworked, as that salary is quite low on the pay scale at this point. He originally signed a four-year, $140 million contract extension in 2019, which worked out to $35 million in new money average, a figure that included a $65 million signing bonus.