The NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching, and there are rumors already starting to circulate around league circles. November 1st is the official trade deadline, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is hearing there are plenty of calls and conversations happening with members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Two players in particular.
Those two players would be none other than third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph, and wide receiver Chase Claypool. What are the odds either of these players get shipped to a new destination before the deadline? It would all depend on what the Steelers would get in return, as well as where they see this 2022 regular season going.
Before going any further, let’s take a look at what Fowler is hearing...
The Steelers always have kept three quarterbacks on the active roster, but they will field calls on third-stringer Mason Rudolph if teams show interest around the deadline.
The QB market has been quiet as teams such as the Dallas Cowboys used practice-squad options to fill short-term needs. But injuries can always change the equation, and with Kenny Pickett entrenched as the starter, Rudolph would probably welcome the change. Mitch Trubisky, as a team captain, will probably stay on for the season.
Rudolph’s best bet might be as a high-level backup for a West Coast team, such as the Rams (whose passing game coordinator, Zac Robinson, was an accomplished Oklahoma State quarterback like Rudolph) or the 49ers.
While on paper any trade offer for Rudolph would make sense for the black-and-gold, it remains unlikely considering the nature of the business. For instance, would shipping Rudolph to another team for a 6th round draft pick be worth the risk? After all, the Steelers saw Sunday in their Week 5 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just how fast things can change with Kenny Pickett leaving concussed. The extra insurance policy is never a bad thing.
Nonetheless, getting something for a player who isn’t under contract after this season certainly in intriguing. Then again, “fielding calls” isn’t really a guarantee the team is willing to make a move.
Now the rumors surrounding Claypool...
A few general managers I’ve spoken to are certain Green Bay is looking for potential receiver help on the trade market. One player who makes sense is Pittsburgh’s Chase Claypool, who multiple execs believe was available in the preseason, though at a hefty price.
Claypool is coming off a big seven-catch, 96-yard game to get back on track, so perhaps that makes him more attractive for the Steelers to keep. The rumors of his availability have persisted for a while now, though. He’s a major talent whose production has declined in each of the past two years.
These type of “rumors” are of the infuriating variety. Fowler hears the Packers are looking for receiver help, and he just thinks Claypool would be a good fit. Claypool is coming off his best game since his rookie season in Week 5, and don’t think that hasn’t reminded the Steelers what they have in the third year receiver out of Notre Dame.
Sure, if someone threw a 4th round pick at the Steelers for Claypool they’d have to think long and hard about it. After all, his stock might never be higher since his performance vs. the Buccaneers Sunday. However, it is unlike the Steelers to give up on players still on their rookie contracts.
The one giant wild card in all these situations is Omar Khan and his new front office. People, including myself, are familiar with how Kevin Colbert did business for the last several decades. No one knows what Khan and his personnel office will do when it pertains to these situations.
We will all be learning more about how Khan will be similar, and different, from Colbert with every day.
In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for a Sunday Night Football matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins in Week 7.