It’s been a foregone conclusion for weeks that the Pittsburgh Steelers were not going to bring back quarterback Mitch Trubisky for the 2024 season. On February 12, the decision became official.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Steelers and Trubisky have agreed to part ways.
“The sides spoke to assess the situation and Trubisky, 29, gets a fresh start just over a month ahead of the start of the league year and free agency,” Garafolo wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
The #Steelers and QB Mitchell Trubisky have decided to mutually part ways, sources say. The sides spoke to assess the situation and Trubisky, 29, gets a fresh start just over a month ahead of the start of the league year and free agency. pic.twitter.com/FqEFhqcuei
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 12, 2024
In two seasons with the Steelers, Trubisky appeared in 12 games, making 7 starts. The Steelers went 2-5 in those starts.
Trubisky posted a 64.1% completion percentage with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and averaged 6.6 yards per attempt.
During 2023, he went 0-2 as a starter with a 62.6% completion percentage, 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while averaging 5.9 yards per pass. The Steelers benched Trubisky after his second start in favor of Mason Rudolph.
Steelers, QB Mitch Trubisky Reportedly Agree to Part Ways
Garafolo’s report portrays both the Steelers and Trubisky wanting fresh starts. But even if Trubisky wanted to return, it’s hard to imagine the team bringing him back for 2024.
The Steelers originally signed Trubisky to be the team’s starter during the 2022 offseason. But then Kenny Pickett fell to No. 20 in the first round of the draft, so the Steelers added what appeared to be the organization’s future franchise quarterback.
Trubisky began 2022 as the team’s starter. However, he lasted just three and a half games before getting benched.
For the rest of the 2022 season, Trubisky made two relief appearances with mixed results. He also started in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers.
Two of those games were Pittsburgh victories, the last of which kept the Steelers in the playoff hunt. So when Trubisky agreed to a contract extension that lowered his cap hit for 2023, the Steelers elected to bring back the veteran quarterback last offseason.
That decision backfired terribly.
Trubisky failed to generate any offense in three relief appearances for Pickett. All of those games ended in Pittsburgh losses.
Trubisky also led the Steelers to just 31 total points in two starts, one of which was against the lowly New England Patriots.
Meanwhile, the Steelers had Rudolph sitting on the bench behind Trubisky. Rudolph led Pittsburgh to three victories to end the regular season after he replaced Trubisky in the starting lineup.
In his two starts this season, Trubisky posted a 65.5% completion percentage with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also averaged 6.2 yards per pass while throwing for 359 yards.
Steelers to Bring in Outside QB?
Releasing Trubisky gave the Steelers about an additional $2.9 million in cap space. But The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac tweeted on February 12 that the quarterback’s release saved the team $11.5 million in real money.
Parting ways the day after the Super Bowl seems harsh, but Dulac added that it will “give Trubisky an early start on free agency.”
Steelers are releasing QB Mitch Trubisky, per source, a move that will save them $11.5 million in real money over the next 2 years. They are doing it now to give Trubisky an early start on free agency.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 12, 2024
Without Trubisky, the Steelers only have Pickett under contract behind center for the 2024 season.
The team has expressed a strong interest in re-signing Rudolph, who is a free agent. However, NFL Network reported on February 11 that Rudolph “has indicated” he’s also interested in a fresh start with another team.
If the Steelers are unable to sign Rudolph, it will be a completely new quarterback room with Pickett.
The team has been connected to nearly a dozen different quarterbacks in both free agency and the draft. It’s possible the Steelers could sign a veteran and select a signal caller late in the draft to add depth behind center.