Updated: Jun 8, 2021
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Mason Rudolph got a one-year contract extension back in April, which guarantees that he'll be with the Steelers through the 2022 season. In fact, he's the only quarterback on the roster that's under contract past this year.
“At the end of the day, I want to be in Pittsburgh,” Rudolph told the media after today's OTAs practice. “This is where I was drafted. This is home. This is where I want to continue to play.”
Since being drafted out of Oklahoma State in the third round in 2017, Rudolph has been mostly a backup minus the 2019 season when he filled in for Ben Roethlisberger after he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2 against the Seahawks. Rudolph finished the season 5-3 as a starter, but he was benched in Week 12 against the Bengals for poor play. Devlin "Duck" Hodges replaced Rudolph as the signal-caller and was the starter for the remainder of the season.
Depending on what happens with Roethlisberger and if he decides to hang it up after this season, Rudolph has his eyes set on being the starter in 2022.
“That’s my goal, is to be a starting quarterback in this league and for our team,” Rudolph said. “I’m working toward that goal every single day. I can only control myself and the way I prepare — the way I approach and play in OTAs and camp — and that’s on the forefront of my mind.
“I’m not worried about 2022 or anything like that. I’m trying to live in the moment and be the best I can for my team.”
Rudolph will have stiff competition for the No. 2 quarterback position and possibly the starting quarterback role in 2022 from Dwayne Haskins, who was a first-round pick by Washington in 2019 but was released prior to the end of last year because of on and off the field issues. The Steelers signed Haskins to a reserves futures contract in January, which is looked at as a low-risk, high-reward type of move.
The Steelers could also possibly select a quarterback early in the 2022 NFL Draft and have a three-way quarterback battle in training camp for the starting position. So, if Rudolph does end up being the starter in 2022, it will be well-earned.
"I think you're always excited and looking forward to competition," Rudolph said. "You know that it's going to be there each and every year, it's just a matter of who. Competition makes everybody better, and you look forward to that, especially in the offseason."