The rumor mill grinds hot and heavy this time of year, and this one involves the much-maligned Pittsburgh Steelers veteran quarterback Mason Rudolph.
Andrew “Poni” Fillipponi, cohost of 93.7 The Fan’s Cook & Poni Show, posted on Twitter on August 15: “A former NFL GM told me he thinks Mason Rudolph could be traded to the Lions by the end of the week.”
A former NFL GM told me he thinks Mason Rudolph could be traded to the Lions by the end of the week.
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) August 15, 2022
Two key words here: “Thinks” and “could” make the statement lean heavily toward the rumor side. But it’s worth noting that Mason Rudolph’s name has been in trade conversations since the Steelers doubled down on quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett this offseason.
Whether the Steelers are interested in trading Rudolph remains the biggest question. There are glaring issues along the offensive line (tackle, guard), as well as inside linebacker, but they’d likely settle for a late-round 2023 NFL draft pick in exchange for the quarterback.
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Truth to the Rumor?
Though Andrew Filipponi doesn’t name the source of the Steelers-Lions trade rumor, it’s speculated to be Doug Whaley, a once candidate for the Steelers general manager vacancy that’s since been filled by Omar Khan.
Whaley spent a decade in Pittsburgh working under then-general manager Kevin Colbert. In his time with the Steelers, Whaley helped scout and draft defensive players such as Lamarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons.
In 2010, Whaley was hired by the Buffalo Bills as assistant general manager before ascending to the general manager role in 2013. Under Whaley’s leadership, the Bills went 30-34 in four seasons, two each with head coaches Doug Marrone and Rex Ryan. Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, Tre’Davious White, Dion Dawkins and Matt Milano were among the notable players selected by Whaley. The Bills let go of Whaley immediately following the 2017 draft.
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A Pittsburgh native and former Pitt Panthers defensive back, Whaley currently works as Senior Vice President of Player Personnel for the XFL.
Whaley is a weekly guest on Wednesdays with Whaley on 93.7 The Fan Morning Show in Pittsburgh and often provides nuggets on the Steelers, both on and off-air. Whether this rumor is one of Whaley’s nuggets or if there’s any truth behind it remains in question.
Mason Rudolph to Detroit Lions?
Mason Rudolph is infamously known as the Steelers quarterback who tied the winless Detroit Lions. So, there would definitely be some humor to the trade if it does materialize.
Rudolph took COVID-listed Ben Roethlisberger‘s spot the night before the Steelers faced the Lions in Week 9 of the 2021 season. Detroit got a good glimpse at the quarterback as he led the Steelers to a 16-16 tie.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 14, 2021
This season, Rudolph is out from under the thumb of the retired Roethlisberger and got another opportunity to show the Steelers brass what he’s made of in preseason Week 1 versus the Seattle Seahawks.
Unfortunately, boos rained down on Rudolph as he took the field in place of Mitch Trubisky in the first quarter. The Steelers veteran got off to a rough start with a fumble-sack. One play later, though, Rudolph found paydirt on a 26-yard touchdown pass to rookie phenom George Pickens.
Rudolph played until the end of the first half and finished the night 9-of-15 for 93 yards, a touchdown and a 100.1 passer rating.
Pickett’s calm and poise impressed during the second half, going 13-of-15 for 95 yards and two touchdowns with a 132.6 quarterback rating. The rookie’s showing could’ve given the Steelers more confidence about unloading Rudolph.
This content was originally published here.