One of the most popular topics among Pittsburgh Steelers recently—not doubt driven partly by the fact that many would like to see it happen—is the idea of the team trading Mason Rudolph, now their third-string quarterback. During comments to the media earlier in the week, it even seemed to sound as though he would welcome it.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, however, he and his agent have not yet approached the team about possibly working out a trade that would send him to another team where he might have a better opportunity to play. That is as of Wednesday afternoon, at least, when the article cited was published.
Asked by the paper if he believed that he was given a fair shot during the offseason to compete for the starting job with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, he said, “I think it’s kind of in the rearview mirror now. I would’ve liked to have had more first-team reps, but decisions are made. I’m moving forward”.
The question now becomes whether that movement involves a trade. Dulac does note that the Steelers would like to keep him. However, one can easily speculate that they can be persuaded to part with him for the right offer. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, when asked about if he is looking to be traded, he deferred.
“Those decisions are between my agent and Omar and the front office”, he said, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m going to leave that to those guys. For now I’m on this team and I’ll do the best I can to help these guys prepare and give everything from a mental perspective”.
The Steelers have traded their third-string quarterback before, rather recently. After the Jacksonville Jaguars saw Nick Foles go down in Week 1, they offered Pittsburgh a fifth-round pick for third-year quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who had just lost the backup job to Rudolph and was now the third-string quarterback.
But the Steelers also knew that they had a fourth quarterback in camp who impressed in the form of Devlin Hodges, and they knew that he was on the street and could be easily signed, which they promptly did when the move was made. Of course, a week later, Ben Roethlisberger’s arm fell apart and it just so happened that Hodges would end up starting six games that year.
Although Hodges is technically available now, he has actually retired. The Steelers’ fourth arm in camp this year was rookie seventh-round pick Chris Oladokun, whom they gave hardly any reps. He signed to the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad; it is unknown if the Steelers offered him a practice squad spot and turned them down.
Technically, Pittsburgh could sign him to their 53-man roster off of the Chiefs’ practice squad if they wanted to, in the event that they traded Rudolph. Or they could pursue another third-string quarterback altogether.
Most likely, the only way a move is going to be made is if there is a significant injury somewhere around the league that puts a team that is only carrying two qualified quarterbacks in a tricky position that compels them to find a more proven commodity to be their backup. Unless or until that happens, Rudolph will have to sit tight.