June 6, 2023

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GM says Steelers extension is “ending out” to backup QB Mitch Trubisky

GM Omar Khan said Thursday on The Pat McAfee Show that the Steelers are “finishing an extension” with quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Khan said the deal “will be done here soon” and that Trubisky feels good about the role he’s playing.
  • Trubisky started five games for the Steelers in 2022 and finished the year with 1,252 passing yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions.
  • The Steelers had already re-signed longtime backup Mason Rudolph.

the athleteInstant Analysis:

Why is Trubisky the Right Backup QB for the Steelers?

In many ways, Trubisky is the perfect backup quarterback for the Steelers’ current situation.

He brings 64 games of NFL experience (including 55 as a starter). He orchestrated five comebacks and eight game winning runs. He has appeared in three playoff games. Few teams in the league will have a backup with this kind of significant playing time on their resume. The Steelers must feel confident that should quarterback Kenny Pickett be injured, Trubisky will be more than able to step in to run a heavy offense in the same way he did during Pittsburgh’s December 18 win on the road in Carolina.

That veteran presence should also come in handy even when Trubisky is wearing a baseball cap on the sidelines. With Pickett entering his sophomore year, the Steelers’ cap is directly tied to how far of a jump he’ll make in 2023. Having an experienced backup quarterback to help set up the game or pass small information is definitely important when a young connected team has a signal.

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“I think any young quarterback will tell you that having this veteran around you is phenomenal, especially if you have a guy like Mitch who handles things so well,” Khan said at the gathering.

It should also be noted that Pickett left two games last season due to head injuries. Because of his mobile style of play, it’s wise for the Steelers to have a veteran backup in case he suffers another injury. – defabo

What does that mean for the hood?

The only real reason to hate Trubisky as a backup quarterback is to hit his hat. Before the quarterback was extended, Trubisky was set to count $10,625,000 against the upper limit. That’s the rookie-like dollar number for the 15th highest in the league, only between Joe Borough and Gino Smith.

While the financial details are not yet known, what is clear is that the hit cap should be more in line with most backups. This makes it an affordable insurance policy behind Beckett. It could also pave the way for the next step: the Alex Highsmith extension. – defabo

What about Rudolph?

Trubisky’s extension comes just days after the Steelers agreed to return third-string quarterback Rudolph. The Steelers now have a well-rounded quarterback room full of quality depth. While the Steelers plan to keep all three on the roster, the depth in this location group opens all the doors in case another team becomes desperate for a signal caller due to a preseason injury. Not saying they will. But he leaves all options on the table. – defabo

background story

Trubisky signed with the Steelers in 2022 after spending a season as a backup at Buffalo.

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The #2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft played his first four seasons with the Chicago Bears posting a 29-21 record in his 50 starts for the franchise.

He opened the 2022 season as the Steelers’ starter before Pickett replaced him in the 2022 first round after four games.

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(Photo: Charles LeClair/USA Today)