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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Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Rudolph could honestly be better than Ben in 2021

It’s hard for fans to separate the player ‘that was’ from the player ‘that is’ sometimes. I get it, and I’m guilty of that myself at times. Ben Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and future Hall of Famer, and he could very well be the most important player in the history of the Steelers franchise. However, we can’t ignore the obvious decline in his skill level over the past few years.

Big Ben used to be one of the best quarterbacks at extending the play and throwing the ball down the field. Now he’s among the bottom of the league in both of these areas. His dismal 6.3 yards per attempt ranked 32nd in the NFL this year, and it was by far the worst mark of any season he has played in his first 17 years in the league (minimum of at least 3 games).

Roethlisberger’s play has clearly taken a downhill turn. Meanwhile, Mason Rudolph had arguably the most impressive performance of his young career in Week 17 against Cleveland when the Browns had everything on the line to get into the playoffs. Rudolph showed a willingness to sling the ball down the field in his most recent start and he could honestly be a better option than a 39-year-old Roethlisberger in 2021.

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I think it’s unlikely that Rudolph turns out to be the long-term solution for the Steelers – especially considering that he has just one year remaining on his contract and hasn’t proven much of anything. Still, with Ben trending downhill and with him set to have the highest cap hit in the NFL next season, it could be advantageous to pass the buck to Mason Rudolph in 2021.