Mason Rudolph is entering the final season of his rookie contract, but the Steelers are close to keeping their backup quarterback signed beyond 2021.
The sides are close on a one-year extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. While the Steelers signed Dwayne Haskins earlier this year, Rudolph still profiles as Ben Roethlisberger's most likely backup. He has operated as such since 2018.
Pittsburgh has seemingly needed a true Big Ben heir apparent for a while, but the team is not viewed as likely to trade up for one of this year’s top five quarterback prospects. Rudolph being extended through 2022 would point to the Steelers standing pat at the position in this weekend’s draft.
The former third-round pick received an extensive audition in 2019, when Roethlisberger’s Week 2 elbow injury ended his season. Rudolph did not fare well, being benched at points for undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges, who is no longer with the team. Still, the Steelers have stood by the former Oklahoma State standout and certainly appear interested in seeing if he could become a legitimate Roethlisberger successor.