Today is July 7, 2022, and I would like to officially welcome all of yinz to the ludicrous part of the offseason. In reality, that date was July 1, but I digress. Where am I going with this? Well, on the heels of the Cleveland Browns trading quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has now attempted to identify a list of teams that should consider pursuing current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, either via a trade or as a free agent, should he eventually wind up being cut. For some crazy reason, Florio included the Pittsburgh Steelers as one of the nine teams he listed.
“If rookie Kenny Pickett won’t be ready, the question becomes whether Garoppolo would be better than Mitch Trubisky,” Florio wrote as to his reason for including the Steelers on his list of nine teams. “Many would say that, despite Garoppolo’s inability to get the 49ers over the top, he is.”
While there certainly might be many people reading this post that believe Garoppolo would be a better option for the Steelers than Trubisky right now, short of the latter and backup quarterback Mason Rudolph both suffering significant injuries prior to Week 1, there is no way that Pittsburgh will be trading for or signing the former this offseason. Even then, it still wouldn’t likely happen.
Garoppolo, who is coming off offseason shoulder surgery, is currently scheduled to earn a $24.2 million base salary in 2022. Even if the 49ers were willing to eat two-thirds of that money to get him gone this offseason, the Steelers still wouldn’t likely have any interest in acquiring the former second round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois. Quite honestly, the 49ers might need to eat that sort of salary amount to get a team to take Garoppolo off their hands in the next few months.
Should, however, the 49ers wind up cutting Garoppolo outright between now and Week 1 of the 2022 regular season, there will be at least a few teams standing in line to sign him for more than what the Steelers might be willing to offer him.
The Steelers not only made one quarterback decision this offseason, they made three of them. In addition to signing Trubisky to a two-year, $14.285 million contract early in free agency that includes incentives and selecting Kenny Pickett out of Pittsburgh in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, they also drafted quarterback Chris Oladokun out of South Dakota State in the seventh round.
As for the Steelers other quarterback currently under contract, Rudolph, who was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, he’s essentially the team’s offseason insurance policy for the remainder of the offseason. Should Trubisky, Pickett and Oladokun all remain healthy throughout the remainder of the offseason, it’s highly probable that Rudolph could be traded away for a bag of footballs or more before Week 1 of the 2022 regular season. Obviously, there’s also a chance that Rudolph isn’t dealt even if the other three quarterbacks do remain healthy.
Since the 2021 season ended, it was wrongly speculated that Garoppolo would be the next starting quarterback for the Steelers on the heels of veteran Ben Roethlisberger retiring. You would have thought that after the Steelers signed Trubisky and drafted Pickett that the Garoppolo to Pittsburgh speculation would have ended. Sadly, it hasn’t, and you can thank Florio on July 7 for that.