3 reasons Steelers should pass the torch to Mason Rudolph in 2021

Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Ben Roethlisberger wants to return in 2021, but here are three reasons why Steelers should consider passing the torch to Mason Rudolph.

After a season that ended with a disappointing 1-5 record and an offense that failed to score 20 points per game over the final six contests of the season, it’s really hard to justify a $41.25 cap hit with a soon-to-be 39-year-old quarterback. Obviously, there was plenty of blame to go around for the Steelers collapse this year. The offensive line is in need of drastic improvements and the running game was non-existent, but Ben Roethlisberger’s inability to throw the ball down the field really got Pittsburgh in trouble down the stretch.

Mason Rudolph might not be any better. In 10 starts in 2019, Rudolph completed 62 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions while throwing for just 6.2 yards per attempt in route to an 82.0 passer rating, according to Pro Football Reference. Regardless of whether or not you believe that Rudolph could be a franchise quarterback (and I do not), there are still some advantages for the Steelers to pass the torch to the young quarterback in 2021 and part ways with Ben:

Steelers need to see what Rudolph is really made of

If you follow my work closely then you already know that I am not the biggest Mason Rudolph fan. Coming out of Oklahoma State in 2018, I thought he had average arm talent, spotty accuracy, below-average pocket awareness, and next to no athleticism to create plays when the protection breaks down. Still, if the Steelers are to give Rudolph one more look, this is the time.

Mason Rudolph is entering a contract year, and Pittsburgh certainly isn’t going to want to hitch their wagon to this horse beyond 2021 without seeing more out of him. I’m certainly not opposed to moving on from him, but if Roethlisberger returns, Rudolph may not get another chance to prove himself.