Mason Rudolph isn’t known for his mobility. But he was as elusive as Lamar Jackson when asked today if he wants to be traded, now the team’s #3 QB on the depth chart. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Rudolph didn’t confirm or deny a trade request to the front office.
According to The Trib’s Joe Rutter, here’s what Rudolph said.
“Those decisions are between my agent and Omar and the front office. I’m going to leave that to those guys,” Rudolph said in part, per Rutter.
That’s not a yes or a no. But generally, a non-answer to “Do you want to be traded?” is an answer of the affirmative. If Rudolph has requested a trade, it’d be hard to blame him. Finally stepping out of Ben Roethlisberger’s shadow this offseason, Rudolph has fallen down the depth chart pecking order, now third-string after serving as the #2 for the past several seasons. He’s now poised to be a weekly inactive behind veteran Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett.
Rudolph certainly has more value than a weekly inactive. Though he’ll never be a franchise starting quarterback, he’s a competent #2 to come off the bench, the role he’s served in Pittsburgh for the majority of his career. With the scarcity of quarterbacks in the league, he could be a #2 somewhere else, and reportedly, teams were interested in trading for him during last week’s cutdowns. Ultimately, Pittsburgh hung onto him, keeping their quarterback as deep as possible. But as injuries pile up around the league during the season, other organizations are likely to keep calling Omar Khan about a deal.
As Mike Tomlin says, he wants volunteers, not hostages, and if Rudolph wants out, there’s a chance the Steelers will accommodate that, just as they did for Melvin Ingram last year. Still, quarterback is a unique position and there’s a reason why Pittsburgh didn’t trade Rudolph last week even knowing he’d open the season as the team’s #3. If a deal occurs, it’ll be because another team made an offer too good for Pittsburgh to pass up. The NFL trade deadline is November 1st at 4 PM/EST so we’ll get our answer by then.