With hours to go before the beginning of the 2021 NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers have their own quarterback news. While it’s not as earth-shattering as what will be coming around the NFL on Thursday night, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Steelers are looking to extend Mason Rudolph beyond the end of his rookie contract.
Sources: The #Steelers are closing in on a 1-year extension with QB Mason Rudolph. Nothing done yet, but look for it soon for the Steelers’ backup. He’ll be signed through 2022.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2021
The Pittsburgh Steelers currently have four quarterbacks on their roster, and the only one who they control their rights beyond this season is Dwayne Haskins. If the Steelers lock in Rudolph for an additional year, it does give a little bit of breathing room for options beyond the 2021 season.
Mason Rudolph spent his entire 2018 rookie season as the Steelers third string quarterback and was not active for any games. Moving into the backup role for 2019, Rudolph was thrown into the mix early as Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season at halftime of the Steelers Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Starting eight games in 2019, Rudolph went 5-3 but two of the victories were completed by quarterback Devlin Hodges with one being due to injury and the other as a replacement. Rudolph later replaced Hodges in Week 16 against the New York Jets and brought the team back to tie the game before leaving with his own season-ending injury.
In 2020, Rudolph started the Steelers Week 17 game against the Cleveland Browns and played affectively in a two-point loss where the Steelers rested multiple players. For his NFL career, Mason Rudolph has completed 201 of his 326 passes for completion percentage of 61.7%. Rudolph has 2,089 yards passing with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
While a possible one-year extension for Rudolph would give the Steelers options beyond 2021, it is also the time of year where the 2018 draftees could begin talks in regards to extensions. With the Steelers having yet to pick up Terrell Edmunds’ fifth-year option, which must be decided on by Monday, all other members of the 2018 draft class are set to be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season except Marcus Allen who will be a restricted free agent. It will be interesting to see if Rudolph is the only player where an extension is discussed before the start of the 2021 season.
Of course, having discussions about an extension and actually following through our two different things. Exactly where the teams land on this issue has yet to be determined. Therefore, stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for updates on player contracts as well as all your information for the 2021 NFL draft.
UPDATE: According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the deal is now complete.
Steelers and QB Mason Rudolph reach agreement on one-year extension through 2022 season, per team source.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) April 29, 2021