Steelers could start Marcus Mariota
In a normal offseason, Rudolph would top this list with relative ease, as his experience and the “next man up” mentality point to him starting in 2022. That said, the Steelers staff have pointed out multiple times that they want a quarterback with some mobility for the future. While Rudolph isn’t a statue, he certainly doesn’t fit the bill of mobile. That’s why Marcus Mariota makes the most sense for Pittsburgh.
While his time with the Raiders and Titans hasn’t been noteworthy, Mariota will likely get another chance to start during the offseason. His arm strength is fine and his decision-making usually doesn’t get a team in trouble, but he lacked the aggressiveness to be a big contributor while starting with the Titans. Hopefully, two seasons with the Raiders changed that for the veteran.
As well, he is a high-pedigree guy, something the Steelers have desired in their free agents. Like Rudolph, instant success shouldn’t be expected even if Mariota is signed. Instead, he can begin the offense’s transition to having a more athletic quarterback while the rest of the team is built back up. While he and Rudolph would likely have similar successes as starting quarterbacks, Mariota gets the nod due to his far superior athleticism.
The Steelers will be in a position that they haven’t been in for 18 years as they transition to their next quarterback. Luckily for them, there are a slew of potential options that fit what the team is looking for. Of all of the choices though, these six options are easily the best that the team could work with during the 2022 season.