Report: Mason Rudolph making surprise return to Steelers with new deal

In a bit of a twist, Mason Rudolph is reportedly returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The reserve quarterback is expected to re-sign with the Steelers, according to multiple media reports. Rudolph, 27, remains a free agent two months into free agency.

The Steelers selected Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft as the backup and potential successor to Ben Roethlisberger. He has since made 17 appearances for Pittsburgh including 10 starts. But he did not win the starting job after Roethlisberger's 2022 retirement. In fact, he didn't win the backup role.

The Steelers drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round in 2022 and signed former Chicago Bears starter Mitchell Trubisky in the same offseason. Trubisky won and ultimately ceded the starting role to Pickett, who will retain the starting job next season.

Rudolph was relegated to third string. He wasn't happy about it and believed that he deserved more first-team action in training camp.

“I think it’s kind of in the rearview mirror now,” Rudolph said last September after his demotion, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I would’ve liked to have had more first-team reps, but decisions are made. I’m moving forward.

“Listen, I’m a much better player than I was Year 1 to Year 5. I’m confident in myself and happy with myself when I did get the reps. I’m going to do whatever I’m asked to do. Other than that, I guess I’ll just kind of hold the clipboard.”

Mason Rudolph is reportedly returning to the Steelers. (Eric Hartline/Reuters)
Mason Rudolph is reportedly returning to the Steelers. (Eric Hartline/Reuters)

Now he's reportedly back, where he'll again presumably be the third-string signal-caller again. Pickett has a vise grip on the starting role, while Trubisky remains Pittsburgh's backup. Neither the Steelers nor Rudolph have addressed the reports.

For his career, Rudolph's completed 61.5% of his passes for 2,366 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Steelers are 5-4-1 in games that Rudolph's started.