While many upcoming Steelers free agents are expressing a desire to stay in the black and gold, one player has apparently already packed his bags.
Guy has been a pro since day one. I hope he gets a chance. https://t.co/fWrHBCYFzX— Rich (@DeathWishRich) February 4, 2023
In honor of one of the most dramatic Steelers careers in recent memory, Mason Rudolph: this is your Steelers life.
Your story begins at the 2018 scouting combine. You skipped the bench press at the combine, as well as the broad jump, short shuffle and 3 cone drill. Why work harder, when you can work smarter?
The gamble paid off and rewarded you with official invites all across the league, including Pittsburgh.
Mason won’t make it to the Steelers. This dude’s stock is soaring. https://t.co/1NjEjHjxbt— Steel Legends (@Steel_Legends) April 6, 2018
Then, the Steelers made it IG official on draft day, trading up from 79 to 76 to catch you.
But not everyone was excited to see you in Pittsburgh.
You ended the Landry Jones era in Pittsburgh that year and became QB3 behind Josh Dobbs. Then in 2019, you were promoted ahead of Dobbs. QB2 means you’re just one snap away from becoming starter, which is exactly what happen in week 2.
That game saw your first professional snaps, your first touchdown pass, and your first fourth quarter comeback...attempt.
But then, the keys to the season were handed to you.
Week 3 brought your first NFL start.
Week 4 brought your first NFL win.
Week 5 brought your first NFL concussion.
Mason Rudolph Knocked Out After Huge Hit | Ravens vs. Steelers | NFL pic.twitter.com/5Jb7nG7vlc— Ivan Olavarria (@IvanOlavarria15) October 6, 2019
And then in Week 11, you headlined the main event at Cleveland Municipal Stadium Starrcade ‘19.
You were accused of the most cancelable crime.
But Coach Tomlin had your back.
Until he benched you a week later.
You came back in Week 16, only to dislocate your shoulder.
In 2020, Ben was healthy, and you became the king of the Victory Formation, sealing Steelers victories against Cleveland, Cincinnati and Jacksonville.
But when you got the start in Week 17, another fourth-quarter comeback came up short.
It was still enough to earn a one-year extension in 2021.
Steelers and QB Mason Rudolph reach agreement on one-year extension through 2022 season, per team source.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) April 29, 2021
Some in the media still thought you could be the heir to Ben’s throne.
And once again, your number was called.
Your game against the 0-8 Lions will go down in history...for all the wrong reasons.
People paid large sums of money to watch Jared Goff tie Mason Rudolph in the rain. Tough.— M***** H******** (@Highest_Tower) November 14, 2021
2022 brought a new lease on life. Ben had retired, and you were de facto QB1.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert on in-house QB options: "If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter. He’s 5-4-1 as a starter. We’re excited to see what’s next for Mason."— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 21, 2022
And for a brief moment, you even got to act like the starter.
Some weren’t ready to give you a fair shot.
And then, at the start of free agency, there was a new gunslinger in town.
And then, the first round of the draft brought yet another.
And then, demoted to QB3, despite the efforts of the “copy and paste element.”
You only dressed one week in 2022, but you weren’t third string, you were always a big ole No. 2.
Does Mason Rudolph feel like it's 2 and 2a with Mitch Trubisky and him, as Tomlin asserted Tuesday?— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 14, 2022
Rudolph: "I feel like I haven't been active on Sundays."
Kyle Chrise is the host of the BTSC podcast “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout.” New episodes are released every Thursday. Check out the latest episode in the player below: