The Pittsburgh Steelers have too many quarterbacks after trading up to draft Mason Rudolph. That means a trade is on the cards.
The Steelers got a lot of positive press for their bold decision to move up and draft Mason Rudolph on Friday. While the pick sets the team up well for the future, it also leaves it with too many quarterbacks on the roster at the moment. The team is on the clock to shed one of their signal callers during the last day of the NFL Draft.
Steelers officials may hope Ben Roethlisberger plays another four to six years, but they’re clearly planning like he’ll retire sooner rather than later. Rather than spend a high pick on a potential successor, the team has chosen to throw numbers at the problem. Rudolph’s selection allows him to join last year’s fourth-round pick Joshua Dobbs and current backup Landry Jones in the team’s quarterback room.
In a day and age where many NFL teams choose to carry just two signal callers, four is clearly too many. It’s unlikely the Steelers will enter the 2018 regular season with all four quarterbacks on the roster, and there’s no better time to trade one of them than during the draft.
Waiting until after the draft to move a quarterback greatly reduces the potential compensation the team might receive. It also lessens the team’s ability to gain an asset that can help them next season. That’s why the Steelers brain trust needs to make a move today.
The question is which quarterback will the team part with. Landry Jones might be the man to go. He’s proven to be an adequate backup for Roethlisberger but at 29 years old he isn’t the right age to be his successor. Jones also lacks the upside to really excite anyone in Pittsburgh about his ability to take the reins.
If it does move on from Jones, Pittsburgh must believe Dobbs is ready to serve as the team’s primary backup this year. He didn’t get any regular-season game action last year, but the team liked what it saw from him in preseason. His mobility and ability to make plays outside the pocket give the Steelers offense an added dimension when he’s under center.
Jones isn’t going to fetch them a tremendously valuable asset, but a team in need of a competent backup could give the Steelers a late round selection for his services. A team like the Panthers could be in the market to secure a new backup for Cam Newton. Jones would give them a younger option than Derek Anderson behind their franchise quarterback.
The bottom line for the Steelers is they aren’t going to move forward with four quarterbacks on the roster. The sooner they can cut the number down to three the better it will be for everyone involved. Look for them to move on from one of their quartet of quarterbacks on Saturday.