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Pittsburgh Steelers players strongly prefer this starting quarterback in 2024 amid internal divide

Pittsburgh Steelers
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback situation for 2024 is unsettled, with Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph expected to battle it out this year in the face of NFL rumors connecting the team to alternatives. If the decision was left up to Steelers’ players, however, it appears the choice would already be made.

Days into the 2024 NFL offseason, it’s become evident that the Steelers’ franchise is divided on its plans at quarterback. Recent reporting has suggested that head coach Mike Tomlin loves Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who has been floated in NFL trade rumors heavily this winter.

Related: Steelers have internal friction over starting QB in 2024

However, with the Bears’ front office seemingly opposed to acquiring a quarterback who would immediately win the starting job, acquiring a player of that caliber appears unlikely. While Ryan Tannehill remains an option in NFL free agency, there appears to be a split between the Steelers’ front office personnel and players over who should be the starting quarterback in 2024.

According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers’ locker room is “clamoring” for veteran quarterback Mason Rudolph to start over Pickett for Pittsburgh in 2024.

“His teammates like him, several have politicked for him, and another indicated there is enough of a question as to who should be the starter that the coaching staff needs to figure it out in a hurry.”

Gerry Dulac on Steelers’ players preferring Mason Rudolph over Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers QB comparison

QB RatingCompletion RateYPATD% -INT%QBR
Kenny Pickett81.462%6.41.9% – 1.2%38.1
Mason Rudolph118.074.3%9.74.1% – 0%70.6
Statistics for the 2023 season

As for Pittsburgh’s front office, it’s believed they would strongly prefer for Pickett to start next season. The former first-round pick remains the favorite heading into the offseason, with Dulac reporting the expectation around the NFL is for Pickett to start in Week 1.

For such a storied franchise, that used to be one of the best NFL dynasties ever, it’s alarming that there remains such a split on what to do at quarterback. With a high-end starter seemingly off the table this offseason, it appears the Steelers’ starting quarterback in 2024 will likely be Pickett, Rudolph, or potentially Tannehill in a reunion with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

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