5 stopgap QB options for Steelers if Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t come back

Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2). Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Mason Rudolph

I really hope the Steelers don’t feel like they have seen enough to try to make Mason Rudolph their long-term starter. Though he played the best game of his career in his Week 17 contest against the Cleveland Browns, Rudolph lacks elite arm talent and any sort of mobility to be anything more than a low-end starting quarterback in the NFL.

However, if we are viewing him as a stopgap to help ease the transition between Ben Roethlisberger and the next man up, I can certainly get on board with that. Rudolph still has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and his cheap contract would allow the Steelers to retain more of their own players if Roethlisberger doesn’t return (assuming they don’t go out and sign an expensive passer to compete with him).

In addition, starting Rudolph in 2021 would give the Steelers a very clear picture of the player he will be in the NFL (if they don’t have one already). The worst-case scenario is that he performs very poorly and Pittsburgh gets to a high draft choice to use on a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. The best-case scenario is that Rudolph outperforms all expectations and proves to be a guy worth paying a second contract to. Either way, this could be the most likely option for Pittsburgh if Ben doesn’t return.