Steelers reportedly view Mason Rudolph as successor to Ben Roethlisberger
The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely welcome Ben Roethlisberger back with the team for as long as he wants to play, but the quarterback currently starting in Big Ben’s place is the one they envision under center in the future.
The Steelers view Mason Rudolph as their successor to Roethlisberger, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday. Pittsburgh used a third-round pick on Rudolph in the draft last year, but they actually had a first-round grade on him. According to Rapoport, their confidence in Rudolph is one of the reasons they did not hesitate to trade a first-round pick for star defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.
One note on #Steelers QB Mason Rudolph: The team had a first-round grade on him in the draft and has viewed him as a successor to Ben Roethlisberger. One reason why they were willing to part with a first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 22, 2019
Rudolph’s performance through two games this season has been mixed. He completed just 14-of-27 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but obviously the sample size is very limited to this point.
There had been talk that Roethlisberger could retire in the wake of his season-ending elbow injury, but the 37-year-old was quick to throw cold water on that. However, if the Steelers aren’t going to make the playoffs this year and they truly believe Rudolph is their quarterback of the future, they are probably viewing this as a valuable opportunity for the 24-year-old to develop.