Mason Rudolph Says He Spoke To Teams In Free Agency Before Re-Signing With Pittsburgh: ‘I Had Opportunities’

QB Mason Rudolph signing back with the Pittsburgh Steelers likely wasn’t on anyone’s bingo card heading into the offseason.

The veteran QB and third-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2018 rode the bench behind Ben Roethlisberger for much of his rookie contract, then inked a one-year extension to remain in Pittsburgh and have the chance to finally compete for the starting job after Roethlisberger retired.

However, that opportunity never materialized as Rudolph was passed over for FA signing Mitch Trubisky and 2022 first round pick Kenny Pickett. Pickett would go on to becoming the team’s full-time starting QB after Trubisky was benched against the New York Jets last season while Rudolph remained the third-string QB.

Many thought Rudolph would run out of Pittsburgh the second free agency started, but news about any interest in Rudolph by other teams in free agency was silent for months after the tampering period began. Rudolph ultimately re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year deal but speaking Friday to Jersey Jerry on his podcast, which aired live on Jerry’s YouTube channel, Rudolph stated that he did have conversations with other teams before deciding to return to Pittsburgh.

“I’m not going to name teams because I’m a part of the only team that matters now,” Rudolph said. “But I had opportunities, but when you look at ’em and, and went into it, I tried to be reasonable with the expectation, knowing I’ve had two starts in the last three seasons. You know, not a whole lot of game tape to sort of go off of.”

Rudolph was looking for an opportunity to start, something that was never really afforded to him during his time in Pittsburgh outside of his second season when Roethlisberger went down with an elbow injury for the year. However, despite having some teams supposedly showing interest in Rudolph, the destinations or contract offers weren’t attractive enough to pull him away from the city and offensive system that he knows.

We’ll probably never know what teams were interested in potentially signing Rudolph this offseason. But it’s clear that Rudolph saw Pittsburgh as the best option for him, given his familiarity with the team and the opportunity to be a part of what hopes to be a contending roster in the AFC this season.

“I think the roster that they’ve built… I think we got a chance to win a Super Bowl,” Rudolph said. “So, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a team like that?”

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