With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, we’re finally starting to gather some concrete information to draw conclusions about the Pittsburgh Steelers and who they will be heading into the 2022 season.
New quarterbacks, new coaches in new roles, even a new stadium name, there are so many changes that it’s even less predictable. That includes the new general manager, which may introduce new variables that we’ll have to learn to adapt to over the years as we make our own predictions about what decisions the team will make.
It’s these kinds of uncertainties that I look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each section, I introduce a topic statement and weigh some arguments for buying (meaning you agree with it or expect it to be true) or sell (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false). .
Title Description: The Mason Rudolph trade will be the best option for all parties.
Explanation: The Steelers have three quarterbacks competing for the starting job. Mitch Trubisky has been labeled as the ‘QB1’ myth since his signing, but Kenny Pickett is the ultimate heir. That leaves Rudolph stuck in the middle, and while he’s not guaranteed to get the opportunity he wants in the meantime, it could stand in the way of Pickett’s progress.
Rudolph may be having the best season of his career so far, and has put up quality tape in the preseason overall. But Trubisky and Pickett were just as good. No matter what happens over the next few months, one variable won’t change: Pickett will have to be a starter sooner or later.
And if Trubisky is the starter with Rudolph’s backup at the start of the season, then Pickett has done nothing, taken nothing, and possibly no practice reps. If you have Trubisky as your starter and Pickett as your backup, Rudolph will be very disappointed and will probably ask to be traded himself.
The more Rudolph plays, the more trade value he may have. And for practical reasons, you can catch it in the event of an injury. For example, they talked to Joshua Dobbs after week one in 2019.
Trubisky starting and Rudolph backing up doesn’t mean Pickett isn’t doing anything. It’s good to have Rudolph as a backup, because he’s been here for five years. He doesn’t need a lot of experienced reps. Nothing fundamental is being learned. That leaves some free reps for Pickett, as the third-string quarterback.
And we are also very quick to discount the idea of Rudolph’s initiation. It’s not too much of an argument to say he’s been the best quarterback in camp so far, and if we’re talking about the deep ball, he’s the one who found George Pique in the end right corner. If we can talk the Rudolph trade, we can talk the Trubisky trade.
Plus, this is a team trying to win the Super Bowl right now. Believe it or not, that’s their goal, and getting rid of a quarterback who could start, or at least be a good backup, isn’t about that goal.