Some awfully surprising news today. Quarterback Mason Rudolph is re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A free agent since March, he’s evidently coming back to the team that drafted him to resume his role as the team’s #3 quarterback.
The news was first tweeted by 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi.
And Twitter user Kevin Adams confirmed the news in a conversation with Rudolph.
A third-round pick who Pittsburgh traded up for in the 2018 NFL Draft, Rudolph has appeared in 17 games for the Steelers, starting 10, and posting a 5-4-1 record. Most of that playing time came in 2019 following Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury. In his second year at the time, Rudolph predictably struggled and his year was remembered for the hits he took from Earl Thomas and Myles Garrett more than anything else.
For his career, Rudolph has completed 61.5% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
It’s worth noting the Post-Gazette‘s Ray Fittipaldo says Rudolph is merely visiting the Steelers tomorrow. But knowing there’s not much for the two sides to talk about, other than saying hello, and assuming he can pass a physical, a deal should get done.
At one point in 2022, Rudolph was the only quarterback on the Steelers’ roster. But the team signed Mitch Trubisky and drafted Kenny Pickett and by Week One, Rudolph fell to third on the depth chart and became a weekly inactive. He did not appear in a game this past season and it appeared he was excited to leave Pittsburgh and sign somewhere else.
His last on-field appearance came in 2021, appearing in mop-up duty in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. His last start came in Week Ten of that year, an emergency start after Ben Roethlisberger was placed in COVID protocol. Rudolph went 30 of 50 for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 16-16 tie against the Detroit Lions, a game the Steelers likely would’ve won had it not been for overtime fumbles by WR Diontae Johnson and TE Pat Freiermuth.
Clearly, there wasn’t been much of, or really any, market for him and so he’s returning to a system he knows. He’ll be a quality #3 QB and give Pittsburgh solid quarterback depth top to bottom. The team’s camp roster is made up of Pickett, Trubisky, Rudolph, and UDFA Tanner Morgan, signed after this year’s draft.