PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers gave Mason Rudolph a vote of confidence when they offered him a contract extension this spring.
The agreement was just for one season. At the moment, that makes Rudolph the only quarterback on the roster under contract for 2022. Of course, he won't be by next summer. Maybe Ben Roethlisberger returns. Maybe Josh Dobbs or DeWayne Haskins — or both — stick around. Maybe they go out and get someone in the draft.
Rudolph understands those decisions are out of his hands. So he's trying to keep it simple. He says he loves Pittsburgh. He believes he can be a full-time starter. And he'd like to get that shot with the team that selected him in the third round in 2018. So why not agree to something that provides a little stability and (maybe) a shot to be The Guy.
“I think that’s my goal is to be a starting quarterback in this league," Rudolph said Tuesday. "I can only control myself and the way I prepare and my approach and the way I play in OTAs ... that’s on the forefront of my mind. I’m not thinking about '22. I’m trying to live in the moment and be the best I can for my team.”
The Steelers have said repeatedly they like Rudolph's potential. He went 5-3 as a starter in 2019 after Roethlisberger went down with an elbow injury at halftime of Week 2. His only extended action last fall came in Week 17 when he threw for 315 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a narrow loss to Cleveland.
The confidence Rudolph showed against the Browns — and his ability to throw the deep ball — appeared to be a step in the right direction.
“I think obviously, small sample size, one game,” Rudolph said. "We should have won. You want to win every game you can but there’s a lot of positives to move forward from.”