For Mitch Trubisky, Remaining In Pittsburgh Is His Best Option

Mitch Trubisky would probably love to go to another franchise, become their starting quarterback, and prove he can play in this league.

But we don’t always get what we want. It’s doubtful Trubisky would even be afforded the opportunity somewhere around the league. Sometimes all you can do is play the hand you’re dealt. And what Trubisky has in front of him isn’t all that bad.

So much of Trubisky’s future in Pittsburgh has been viewed through the lens of what’s best for the Steelers, who want a known and veteran backup to be their #2. But you can make an argument Trubisky staying in Pittsburgh for 2023 is also in his best interest.

I don’t think he hates Pittsburgh. But he even admitted regret over signing with the Steelers so early in free agency, literally one of the first players across the league to ink a deal. Frustrated over being benched in Week Four, he’s cemented as the team’s backup. This is now Kenny Pickett’s team. If Trubisky could wave a magic wand, he’d probably ask for his release and go elsewhere to compete for a starting job.

In reality, that starting opportunity likely doesn’t exist anywhere else. Several teams are in the quarterback market this year but Derek Carr will plug one of those holes while Aaron Rodgers could do the same if he’s traded. A strong draft class with four names going in the top ten means Trubisky won’t have the options he did a year ago.

Pittsburgh or elsewhere, Trubisky is going to be a backup. And that means staying with the Steelers is really his best option. Because if you’re going to be a backup no matter where you go, you might as well do it in a place where you can make a lot of money and play in a system you’re familiar with.

Trubisky can make $8 million as the Steelers’ backup this season. He’s not going to make that money anywhere else. That contract he signed last year was with being a starter in mind and while backup quarterbacks can still get paid well, he won’t reach that figure.

While he’d open the year as the #2, odds are he’ll play at some point. Even after being benched in Week Four, Trubisky appeared in 23% of the team’s games the rest of the season, starting one and playing significant snaps in the other two. Over the course of a long 17-game season, Pickett is more likely than not to miss some chunk of time, allowing Trubisky the chance to see some action. Staying in Pittsburgh also keeps him in the same system, one he learned and ran last year before being benched. Sign elsewhere and you’re learning a different style with backup reps. Harder to grasp the offense from the bench. And it’s a reason why Pittsburgh wants to keep him around. He’s known to them and that creates comfort.

All told, Trubisky can earn a solid salary in 2023, probably play a little bit, and hit the market in 2024. He still won’t have turned 30 yet and perhaps the market will be more favorable then.

Understandably, Trubisky is confident in himself and wants to prove it. If he knew a starting job out there existed, he’d do everything he could to take it. But someone has to show him the reality. No matter where he goes this year, he’s a backup quarterback. Embrace it, don’t run from it, and he could have a valuable role in Pittsburgh in 2023.

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