The Pittsburgh Steelers probably won't be acquiring a quarterback for the future when the 2021 NFL Draft opens Thursday night. Instead, they're locking down one of their own, likely knowing that starter Ben Roethlisberger already has one foot in retirement.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports that the Steelers are "closing in" on a one-year contract extension with backup signal-caller Mason Rudolph. Rapoport adds that Rudolph "will" be signed through 2022.
Rudolph entered the NFL when Pittsburgh selected him in the third round of the 2018 draft, and he's recorded 2,089 career passing yards with 15 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 82.7, per ESPN stats.
Pittsburgh's QB room was already quite full before Thursday's development. Along with Roethlisberger and Rudolph, the Steelers acquired former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins in January and then signed career backup Josh Dobbs earlier this month. Per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, Haskins and Dobbs are only signed through 2021, so one has to wonder if at least a few people within the Steelers believe Rudolph deserves an opportunity to start in September 2022 or if they are working under the assumption that Roethlisberger isn't set on hanging his cleats up next offseason.
If it's the latter, Roethlisberger may simply feel most comfortable with a known commodity as his QB2.