Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: QB Mitchell Trubisky
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: While the Steelers have not yet made his signing official, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is scheduled to speak to the media this afternoon, so it’s safe to assume at this point that he is going to be their new quarterback.
We’re under 24 hours into the new league year and the Steelers have already signed, or are prospectively signing, five veteran outside free agents, all of whom command a per-year salary equal to or greater than the highest salary they signed any outside free agent to last year.
That includes quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who reportedly signed a two-year contract with a base value of $14.25 million that could rise to $27 million through incentives. If he ends up locking in all of his incentives (which is unlikely), it would be the largest contract in total monetary value the team has ever given to an outside unrestricted (compensatory) free agent.
A former second overall draft pick, Trubisky helped take the Chicago Bears to the postseason in two of his four seasons there before they chose to move on. He served as Josh Allen’s backup on a bargain one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills a year ago, playing very sparingly.
The Steelers certainly did not break the bank for him, but he should absolutely and obviously be the odds-on favorite to be their opening-day starter come September. The team will frame it as a competition with Mason Rudolph (and perhaps Dwayne Haskins as well), though Trubisky will be fed all of the most valuable reps.
The team is hoping that, while he has certain clear limitations as a traditional passer, they can get more out of him in Matt Canada’s offense than the Bears were able to. His career numbers are far from awful, but it’s difficult to paint him as a sure-fire, long-term starter.
Still, it is a shot they feel is worth taking, in the meantime. They believe that a quarterback of his caliber will help them stay competitive in 2022, but his contract is not so burdensome that it would make them reluctant to continue to explore their options at the quarterback position in the draft—for the next two years.