Signs point to Mitch Trubisky starting at quarterback for the Steelers

USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Steelers used a first-round pick on the replacement for Ben Roethlisberger, Pickett apparently won’t be taking Roethlisberger’s place right away.

Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com, in assessing the various offensive players currently on the team, expresses a belief that “it’s difficult to imagine a scenario” in which Mitch Trubisky doesn’t begin the season as the starter — barring injury or horrendous performances in camp or the preseason.

Kaboly adds that Pickett received third-string reps in OTAs. Barring extensive first-string reps in camp and preseason games, it won’t be easy for the rookie to be ready to go right out of the gates.

Some believe that Trubisky’s incentive package, largely tied to playing time, will become a disincentive for the Steelers to play him. Via Spotrac.com, it starts at 60 percent ($1 million incentive plus a $1 million roster bonus in 2023), increases at 70 percent ($1.5 million plus $4 million 2023 roster bonus), and bumps up again at 80 percent ($2 million plus $4 million 2023 roster bonus). With a playoff berth, the 70-percent incentive moves to $2.5 million, and the 80-percent incentive increases to $4 million.

So that’s up to $8 million that Trubisky can earn if he takes at least 80 percent and the Steelers make the playoffs. That’s not called a disincentive to start Trubisky. That’s called money well spent.

Trubisky’s base rate is very low, at an average of $7.1425 million per year. That’s peanuts for a veteran starter. If he plays a lot and leads the team to the playoffs, getting another $8 million is nothing.

As to Pickett, remember this — Roethlisberger wasn’t the Week One starter in 2004. He played only after Tommy Maddox suffered an injury. And Hall of Famer Alan Faneca wasn’t thrilled about it.

As to Trubisky, it’s unclear what his potential really is because he never properly meshed with coach Matt Nagy, who took over in Trubisky’s second season. Trubisky nevertheless started for a team that went to the playoffs in two of four season, thanks in large part to a great defense. That’s precisely what he’ll have in Pittsburgh. With a good complement of weapons around him, Trubisky could be a pleasant surprise in 2022 for the Steelers.

25 responses to “Signs point to Mitch Trubisky starting at quarterback for the Steelers

  1. Trubisky has a wide open door to prove himself. Hope he makes the most of this chance.

  2. It’s a three man race. It does not fit the media narrative, but have no doubt if Mason outplayed the other two leading up to September he will get the job. It has a going to be about which man responds best to the competitive pressure to succeed.

  3. I’d like to see the Biscuit do well somewhere. Yeah, he caused his share of self-inflicted damage but Nagy was such a disaster it’s hard to say where the problems began or ended.

  4. Regardless of who starts, there’s no way the Steelers aren’t going to get better play at the QB position this year. Big Ben has been a shell of his former self even before the elbow injury. He couldn’t move, or throw. They may not finish first in the division…but I guarantee they won’t finish last.

  5. Trubisky leading the Steelers to the playoffs while the Bears and Fields miss again would be epic.

  6. lol!

    JimmythePin and VASteelers fan have to watch this rental for 2 years until Tomlin fights to save his job from Flores.

  7. So that’s up to $8 million that Trubisky can earn if he takes at least 80 percent and the Steelers make the playoffs.

    ————

    Playoffs? Lol! The Steelers will be lucky to finish 3rd in the division!

  8. As a team, if I can pay several million instead of 30,000,000 and make the playoffs I am very happy.

  9. Well the only other option is a QB who was drafted way too early and can’t seem to hold on to the football. Pretty much a no brainer.

  10. Pittsburgh has a good record of taking castoffs from other teams and making them useful players.

  11. I would like to see the Steelers bump Rudolph down or cut him and move Pickett up to 2nd string reps. Rudolph is at best a back-up QB. Rudolph was a 3rd year QB and couldn’t maintain the starting job over a rookie Hodges.

  12. Can’t wait for the Steelers to take the division so all the hates cry

  13. People laughed when they said the Steelers would make the playoffs last year…..And then they made it.

  14. Look at some these qbs taken in the top ten just in the last few years: (1)Mayfield, (3)Darnold, (10)Rosen, (6)D. Jones, (5)Tua, (2)Z. Wilson and (3)Lance. These same experts are trying to tell me they know Pickett was overdrafted at only number 20. PLEASE.

  15. Why does everybody keep saying that the Steeler defense is “great” or “elite?” That is crazy talk. They gave up an average of 45 points in their last 3 playoff loses. Last season they ranked 20th in points allowed. 25th in yards allowed. They get destroyed by any halfway decent quarterback. Since Dick LeBeau has been gone the Steeler defense stinks. Tomlin is not a good coach. 3 playoff wins in the past 12 years with a Hall of Fame quarterback is not good. You can’t argue that it is. But all the talking heads love him.

  16. Trubisky and Fields will both do better. Bears pull a 2019 year and go further than a double-doink.

  17. If Pickett cannot beat out Trubisky then it’a red flag. Both are new to the Steelers system, Pickett was a 5 year starter in college so he is experienced enough to win the starting job.

  18. If so, then opposing defenses only have to cover half of the field, since that’s the only portion Trubisky is capable of reading at one time.

  19. Rudolph hasn’t ever been given a chance in an offense like what the Steelers will run this year. He’s bigger than the other 2, runs just as well, throws better balls and has experience. He’s going to win the competition and start.

  20. If Trubisky winds up looking good then Matt Nagy should never be considered for a head coaching job on any level ever again. (He probably won’t be anyway, but still…)

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