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Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph Highlighted As Compelling Trade Targets From Steelers By The Athletic

In 11 days, the NFL Trade Deadline will be upon the league, and unlike recent seasons this one might have more moves than normal.

Already, the Carolina Panthers have kicked off the trade cycle, dealing standout running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers for a boatload of draft picks. Other names like wide receiver Elijah Moore, pass rusher Robert Quinn, running backs Kareem Hunt, Cam Akers and Josh Jacobs, tight end Mike Gesicki and cornerback William Jackson III could all be on the move, creating some splash for whichever team makes a move for them.

The deadline could also see a number of under-the-radar moves occur, too, including a possible trade of quarterback Mitch Trubisky or quarterback Mason Rudolph from the Pittsburgh Steelers to a QB-needy team, according to The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, who listed the two quarterbacks as potential compelling trade targets in a recent article highlighting a candidate from all 32 teams that published Friday morning.

With rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett firmly in the starting role under center, the Steelers find themselves with a bit of a surplus of experienced QB depth behind him on the depth chart, and could look to take advantage of that depth to recoup a Day 3 draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft next April.

“The Steelers could have six or seven losses by the deadline, which would make it easier to move on from one of their depth quarterbacks,” Kaboly writes for theathletic.com. “Neither Trubisky nor Rudolph would fetch much considering their résumés, but if the Steelers could get back a depth piece or even a third-day pick, it would be worth considering. Still, even a late-round pick might be an aggressive ask for Trubisky, who’s set to make $8 million next year ($10 million against the cap for the Steelers); or Rudolph, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.”

After the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6, the Steelers won’t have six or seven wins by Nov. 1, which is a positive development. Still, it might be a bit easier to move one of the quarterbacks at the trade deadline — preferably Rudolph — due to the depth the Steelers currently have at the position.

Granted, trading away a third experienced quarterback might not be the wisest decision overall, especially if the return is a late-round pick. But with Rudolph being inactive every game day this season, he might provide more value to the 2023 Steelers team via trade than he is providing currently as the third quarterback on the depth chart.

There’s certainly something to be said for the comfort he provides as the third quarterback, considering he’s started 10 games in the NFL, is a fifth-year NFL veteran and knows the Matt Canada system rather well at this point in his tenure with the Steelers. That said, he’s probably more valuable as a trade asset right now in a league where quarterback play is seemingly down across the board, and the backup quarterback position is something true contending teams covet.

Ultimately, it’s hard to see the Steelers moving Rudolph now, and nearly impossible to see them moving Trubisky considering his status as team captain, QB2 and the endless talk about a locker room altercation with Dionate Johnson swirling. Rudolph makes the most sense to deal, but the Steelers didn’t move him ahead of final cuts, and it’s hard to see them moving him in-season.

In the next 11 days, we’ll have our answer.

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