The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that consistently enters the regular season with three quarterbacks on the 53-roster. Not every team does this, but for years now it has been important for Pittsburgh. Going into the 2023 NFL Draft, the Steelers only had two quarterbacks on the roster leading to some intrigue if they would draft one. The Steelers didn’t draft a quarterback but did sign former Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan as an undrafted free agent.
Even with the addition of Morgan the Steelers’ quarterback room is inexperienced with only Mitch Trubisky having played more than one season in the league. In his Asked & Answered article for Steelers.com Bob Labriola was asked if he believes the team will try to sign a veteran quarterback for training camp.
“I don’t see the Steelers going the veteran route to add a quarterback now, mainly because I don’t believe they are interested in spending the money it would require to sign one,” wrote Labriola. “And it’s important to remember that the quarterbacks they’re looking for at this stage are bottom-of-the-depth chart guys who would at best be competing for the No. 3 spot, because Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky are entrenched as the starter and backup, respectively.”
What Labriola is saying makes sense. The only realistic veteran quarterback would be Mason Rudolph and I doubt he would even want to return. In addition, there is no need to spend the money on a veteran when they likely won’t even be suiting up on game day; you can use an undrafted free agent like Morgan and pay him significantly less.
No matter what, if both Kenny Pickett and Trubisky get injured and the Steelers need to turn to their third quarterback they are screwed. With most veterans you know what you are getting, and for them to be a third stringer there is no upside other than veteran presence and I am not so sure the Steelers really need that in their quarterback room. At least with an undrafted rookie there might be a slim chance they have something special.
Given the increase in pay for a veteran quarterback compared to an undrafted rookie it simply makes no sense to go out and sign a veteran to be a “camp arm.” You can get those camp arms for a significantly cheaper price, and that is what general manager Omar Khan apparently decided to do. Now what will really be interesting is if the team decides to roster three quarterbacks this year come Week One, but we won’t find that out for awhile.