The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead, they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answering, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: Will Mitch Trubisky be on the roster by the end of the 2023 season?
It’s a fair question, or at least many are trying to make it one. And I suppose it is in reality. Not a lot of backup quarterbacks get paid $8 million, although when they are, they’re usually playing behind a young starter on a rookie contract.
Multiple members of the media have speculated—and I strongly emphasize speculated—that Trubisky’s status with the team could be in question entering the start of the 2023 new league year. They could use cap space, although they have numerous ways to go about getting some.
And there’s the fairly important fact that they will still need a backup quarterback even if they were to move on from Trubisky. Sure, they could sign another one with the $8 million they get back from Trubisky, but what’s the on-field and locker room cost of the downgrade?
Still, we must ultimately consider the possibilities. Even though owner Art Rooney II essentially came out and said that they are going to be keeping Trubisky, it’s not out of the question that they cut him. It’s not even out of the question that a team is willing to trade for him, though they might be lucky to get a conditional swap of late-round picks.
And then even if they do keep him and he’s on the team in the regular season, there’s still the possibility of being traded. Injuries arise during the regular season. What if a starter goes down in week one on a team without a clear backup option—a team only carrying two quarterbacks? Obviously, Pittsburgh doesn’t even know who its third-string quarterback is going to be right now, though, so figuring that out will help determine if they can afford to move on from Trubisky. And there have been no indications he would ask for his release or trade.