Mason Rudolph brings controversy to the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback competition, but don’t expect any one of their four gun slingers to be free agents in 2018.
Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs enter delicate territory, as a rookie quarterback joins the mix of Pittsburgh quarterbacks. Finding Mason Rudolph in the third-round of the 2018 NFL Draft was a steal for the Steelers, but the quarterbacks already on the roster were not as thrilled to see more competition enter their summer routine.
Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph aren’t going anywhere. The future Hall of Famer has never been in question of losing his starting job, and now, he takes on an even bigger role of teaching his successor during the last few runs of his career.
Rudolph is the next starting quarterback in Pittsburgh. He’s first-round talent that somehow found his way to the 76th pick. The Steelers aren’t looking for him to compete with the other two backups, but rather prepare himself to one day take over this offense.
For Dobbs and Jones, they’re now on the hot seat. For one, it’s a lost job. For the other, it’s a place on the practice squad. Neither of which these two young quarterbacks want to find themselves dealing with this summer.
If Pittsburgh decides Dobbs is the future backup of this team, they’ll keep him around as the third string for this season. That means Jones will be looking for work elsewhere after the team decided to cut him. Because even with four reliable quarterbacks, the Steelers aren’t going to keep everyone around until Roethlisberger retires.
If the team decides Jones is staying, though, they could keep all four. Placing Dobbs on the practice squad for a season could benefit his development and keep him around for the future. How they’ll address the situation next offseason will be up to them, but for 2018, they can certainly keep him at the bottom of the depth chart.
This is likely Pittsburgh’s best option as well. Dobbs isn’t ready to step in for any situation if needed. At best, he’ll be the third string quarterback who can backup Rudolph is Roethlisberger misses time this season.
So, instead of cutting Jones, they can place Dobbs on the practice squad and allow the veteran and rookie to compete for the backup job. If Ben misses games, either one of these two can fill the void, instead of only being able to rely on the a rookie.
It’s best case scenario for everyone. Pittsburgh would love to see Dobbs stay for the next few years at least. By not having him on the active roster, they get to develop the sophomore quarterback and still keep their long-time backup around.
It’s a situation where someone needs to get hurt, but not lose a job. If they play it for the future, the Steelers can certainly find a way to keep all four quarterbacks. And they likely will.