Mason Rudolph spent all of last season on the Steelers' bench after a demotion to the No. 3 quarterback job. Two months into a quiet free agency, however, the former third-round draft pick is returning to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal, the team announced Wednesday.
The 27-year-old is set to reprise his role as the Steelers' third QB, behind Kenny Pickett and Mitchell Trubisky. There had been little reporting about interest from other teams after Rudolph's rookie contract expired in March, though his social media activity briefly sparked rumors of a move to the Falcons.
Rudolph spent last offseason in an open competition for the Steelers' top QB job following Ben Roethlisberger's retirement. Trubisky ultimately opened the year under center, with Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, finishing with 12 starts. Pittsburgh has since endorsed Trubisky, the former Bears starter, as a long-term insurance option behind Pickett.
Drafted 76th overall in 2018, Rudolph has 10 career starts under his belt. His most notable run came in 2019, when he went 5-3 filling in for an injured Roethlisberger, despite throwing almost as many interceptions (nine) as total games played (10). He was last seen late in the 2021 campaign, when he threw eight passes off the bench against the Chiefs. Earlier that year, he made an emergency start for Roethlisberger, who had landed on COVID reserve, in a 16-16 tie with the Lions.