The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the first stages of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era and will use the next few months to figure out what the next chapter under center will be. Of course, the team can go in a multitude of directions -- free agency, trade, the NFL Draft, etc. -- to fill that hole and ultimately find their next starting quarterback.
On Monday, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert noted that Pittsburgh will aim to enter training camp with four quarterbacks on the roster. Currently, the team has Mason Rudolph under contract and Colbert said that the team is expected to tender Dwayne Haskins, giving them two quarterbacks already in-house with two more spots to fill. While detailing that the team will add more bodies at the position, Colbert also said that Rudolph would get the nod if the season began now.
"If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter," said Colbert, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. "He's 5-4-1 as a starter. We're excited to see what's next for Mason."
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Rudolph has been with the team ever since he was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State. Over that tenure, he's completed 61.5% of his passes while averaging 139.2 passing yards per game. He also has 16 passing touchdowns along with 11 interceptions.
Naturally, saying Rudolph would be QB1 if the season began today is really the only answer Colbert could give at the present moment. He has the most experience with the Steelers system and is currently the only in-house option before a looming tender is placed on Haskins. That said, there's plenty of time between now and the start of the 2022 season for the Steelers to find a quarterback who possesses a higher ceiling.
"We know we're going to add to the position," said Colbert. "I can't tell you how at this point. We will go to camp with four. If we had to start today with Mason as our starter, let's go. We'll try to build the best team around him."
This offseason, the quarterback carousel could include some big names ranging from Jimmy Garoppolo to Aaron Rodgers to Russell Wilson all changing teams. With the Steelers having a need at that position, they could be pegged as a landing spot for one of them or could look to rebuild from that ground-up at quarterback by selecting someone at the 2022 NFL Draft. No matter which way they go, there will be plenty of QB1 options other than Rudolph by the time they open up training camp.