2023 Offseason Questions: Could Steelers’ Partnership With Trubisky Extend Beyond 2023?

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: Could the Steelers’ partnership with quarterback Mitch Trubisky extend beyond the 2023 season?

It’s easy to create a narrative where there’s a gray area. Sometimes that narrative creates itself. Occasionally, the narrative even has substance. Far more often, however, it’s merely a sequence of speculations that perpetuate themselves through repetition until reality itself refutes the premise.

We’re far from that with quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his future with the Steelers, but it does seem increasingly unlikely that Pittsburgh has any interest in trading or releasing him, barring a comically good trade proposal.

Yet general manager Omar Khan said something slightly interesting yesterday when he was talking about Trubisky. In reiterating team owner Art Rooney II’s declaration that the Steelers want Trubisky around, he went even further. “I look forward to having him around here for a long time”, he said. “Not only this year, but for a long time”.

If anybody needs reminding, the veteran quarterback signed a two-year contract in 2022 and thus only has one year left on his current deal. He also previously acknowledged regret over not giving himself more time to explore all of his options back in March when he quickly signed with the Steelers—though he certainly never explicitly stated that he regretted signing with the Steelers.

Trubisky has already played the backup before. He signed in Pittsburgh in part because he knew it would give him a decent chance to try to be a starter again. He failed that initial test and recognizes he’s unlikely to get another one here. Possibly anywhere else, either.

There are no indications that he has been an issue in the locker room, however, or that he has asked or intends to ask to be released or traded. There are no indications that the team intends to do anything with his $8 million salary.

All signs point to him being here in 2023. But what about 2024 and beyond? I have a hard time envisioning an extension happening this summer. But what about when he hits free agency next year? If nobody’s offering him a starting job or starter money, why wouldn’t he want to stay in Pittsburgh? Maybe he won’t necessarily become the next Charlie Batch in terms of longevity in a reserve role, but who’s to say he won’t stick around for a while yet? Making money is always a fine incentive, and being the backup is much better for your body.

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