Thursday, May 19, 2022

Steelers signing Mitchell Trubisky: Former Bears first-rounder, Bills backup agrees to reported two-year deal

The Steelers have taken their first notable swing at quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, and it involves a former first-round pick. One hour into the NFL‘s legal tampering period Monday, Pittsburgh has agreed to terms with former Bears and Bills QB Mitchell Trubisky, CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones has confirmed. ESPN and NFL Media report the deal is for two years. The Steelers were interested in a potential trade for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per Ian Rapoport, but will instead turn to Trubisky as their veteran option under center.

The 27-year-old Trubisky may have offered the most upside of a thin free agent QB class, even if his resume is checkered. Drafted No. 2 overall out of North Carolina in 2017, he had mixed results in his four-year run with Chicago. After earning a Pro Bowl nod as a dual threat for the Bears’ NFC North championship in 2018, Trubisky struggled to improve on a shaky offense, ultimately coming on and off the bench in his fourth and final year with the team. He signed a one-year deal with the Bills in 2021, appearing in six games as Josh Allen’s backup during Buffalo’s playoff run.

It’s still possible, if not probable, the Steelers will consider adding another QB early in the 2022 draft. But Trubisky offers them an experienced arm at a position with other generally unproven veterans, including Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs. He had narrowed his 2022 options to Pittsburgh and the Giants, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, but decided on the Steelers as his best chance to return to the field as a starter.

SportsLine’s Stephen Oh projects Trubisky to have a favorable impact on the Steelers, assuming he takes over under center, improving Pittsburgh’s forecast win total from 9.0 to 9.8, and increasing their playoff chances by 13%.

“When he misses a throw, he misses really badly,” Oh says, “but in the end Trubisky is still a good statistical QB … and got valuable experience playing behind Josh Allen. He’s probably one of the least respected young QBs who made the playoffs multiple times in their first few years. The Steelers are much better off with him than they would have been with Mason Rudolph. Trubisky playing as an athletic game manager and not as someone who was drafted ahead of (Patrick) Mahomes and (Deshaun) Watson is a solid option for the upcoming season.”

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