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 answered, 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: Is nobody interested in Mason Rudolph?
We are now nearly a month into free agency. Thus far, there has been absolutely zero reported movement or action of any kind on Mason Rudolph’s front. A five-year veteran former third-round draft pick, he has a 5-4-1 starting record with 2366 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
Nobody particularly seems to care. Even those Steelers fans who disliked Rudolph and would rather have seen him go, I believe, probably thought that there would at least be some action at this point. Yet there hasn’t even been a single report of interest on the part of any team in his services.
Since free agency began, many quarterbacks from many different tiers have already locked in new deals. Indeed, the majority of those who became free agents are now under contract. He is one of the dozen or so who is not signed.
While that group includes names like Teddy Bridgewater, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan, the list of quarterbacks who have already agreed to deals features such stalwarts as Nathan Peterman, Phillips Walker, Kyle Allen, David Blough, Easton Stick, Nate Sudfeld, and Tim Boyle. Many of them even signed with new teams.
So what does it mean that nobody has been reported to have any interest in Rudolph thus far? Surely he is a better prospect than at least some of those names listed above. It also has to be acknowledged that a lack of public movement doesn’t mean there aren’t things going on behind the scenes. His agent is obviously calling people.
But is anybody listening? Is anybody interested? Perhaps some teams have told him to wait and see what happens after the draft. But given the way things have currently gone, I think we can surmise that he is likely in for a veteran-minimum type of contract whenever he does land somewhere.
This after making $3 million in base salary last season with the Steelers. The longer this goes on, the more likely he ends up back here. He’ll suck up any hard feelings he might have if it means the difference between having a job that pays in the $1 million range versus trying out for the USFL.