With training camp just around the corner, it’s time to turn our focus on what is going on within each position, and on the roster as a whole. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a closer look at some of the roster battles that we expect to see unfold over the course of training camp as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the start of the 2022 season.
Unlike last season, which was carried out through a pandemic, things should return much closer to normal this year, including a relocation back to Latrobe, which should help provide us with clearer insights into where people stand. Which is a good thing, considering how many outstanding questions there are both in the starting lineup and within positions.
Up for Grabs: Starting Job
In the Mix: Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph
Of course we have to start here. There might not be a bigger question in the entire NFL right now than who the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers is going to be this year. At some point, it’s going to be Kenny Pickett, because they drafted him to be a starter, but most believe that Mitch Trubisky is the favorite to start the season, if not finish it, depending on how he and the team does.
As you know, it’s been a very long time since the Steelers have had to have a conversation about who their starting quarterback is. Ben Roethlisberger had been their franchise guy since before Steelers Depot even existed, so this is the first time in our history that we are even writing about uncertainty under center.
With his retirement this offseason, the team moved quickly to add a veteran, signing Trubisky to a fairly modest free-agent deal, which includes $14.25 million as a base over two years, and could rise to something like $27 million in total via incentives that largely hinge upon playing time each year.
While they evidently never told Trubisky when they signed him, however, they were not for a second shy about hiding their intense interest in this year’s quarterback class, and they ended up having their pick of the little with the 20th-overall selection in the first round.
They determined that Pickett, the Pitt starter, was their guy—or would be. The only question is how soon. He was regarded as the most pro-ready quarterback prospect coming out of college this year, and in theory, he will be given a sporting chance to win the starting job.
For completion’s sake, we also have to acknowledge that Mason Rudolph is in the running here, or at least that’s what he chooses to believe. While virtually nobody thinks he has much hope of beginning the year as the Steelers’ starter, he is the guy who knows the offense, the only quarterback who was on the team before mid-March. Indeed, he’s going into year five.