Jameis Winston, after a month on the open market, signed a one-year deal with the Saints. But prior to Winston officially joining the Saints, reports had surfaced about Winston turning down a more lucrative offer from the Steelers, a team that has question marks at the quarterback position behind starter Ben Roethlisberger. On Wednesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert set the record straight on the team's reported offer to Winston.

"We're always gonna watch what's out there," Colbert said on 93.7 The Fan. "It's my job to evaluate any position, any player that happens to be available. And we do that. But I can honestly say that we absolutely made no negotiation or any offer to any veteran quarterback."

Several members in the media -- including former Steelers coach and current CBS Sports NFL analyst Bill Cowher -- had supported the idea of Winston joining the Steelers.

Colbert reiterated his faith in backup quarterback Mason Rudolph, who endured a roller coaster 2019 season. A 2018 third-round pick, Rudolph, who did not attempt a regular season pass as a rookie, enjoyed a winning record as Pittsburgh's starting quarterback last season. He also completed a respectable 62.2% of his passes with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Rudolph's season, however, also included two significant injuries: a concussion after being hit by Ravens safety Earl Thomas in Week 5, and a shoulder injury against the Jets in Week 16 that required season-ending surgery. Rudolph entered the Jets' game after being benched following a poor performance in Pittsburgh's Week 12 win over the Bengals. Devlin Hodges, the Steelers' third-string quarterback, led the Steelers to three straight wins before suffering his own decline in performance.

The injuries paled in comparison to what Rudolph endured in Pittsburgh's Week 11 loss in Cleveland. Rudolph (who lost both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson to injuries during the game) suffered through his worst game as a professional, throwing four interceptions while completing just 53% of his passes. He was also sacked a season-high four times while being hit three times by Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett, who threw his helmet at Rudolph after the two began to fight one another near the end of Cleveland's 21-7 victory. After the game, Garrett accused Rudolph of calling him a racial slur, an accusation that Rudolph has vehemently denied.

"He was positive, he worked harder, he stayed the course," Colbert said of Rudolph's 2019 season. "And when he was called on in the Jets game, he played his best quarter and a half, and unfortunately, he got hurt. A lot of times, we find out about ourselves when we're put in tough situations, and Mason was last year. And he responded both times, in my opinion. We're very comfortable with where he'll be in year three, and quite honestly, we're hopeful that Ben is out there the whole season."

While he is comfortable with Rudolph as his backup, Colbert said that he believes that Roethlisberger could be better than he was before last year's elbow injury that required season-ending surgery. Based on his recent updates, it appears that Roethlisberger (who is signed through the 2021 season) will be ready to go by the time the regular season begins.

Colbert also believes that Roethlisberger's return will elevate the play of Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner. Pro Bowlers the season before, Smith-Schuster and Conner suffered declines in production last season while also battling through injuries.

"When he sits for a year, he's also resting his body for a year," Colbert said of Roethlisberger, who has not ruled out playing beyond his current contract. "Maybe the surgery will help him have even a stronger arm coming back. Those are the types of things I look for, and all indications are that he's on a solid course to be back full speed, which will not only help us, it will help those other players get back to the level they were at in 2018."