It’s been one full week since training camp has opened for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and so far, there has been no clear indicator of which quarterback is leading the way. While the competition continues to heat up, this is the Steelers’ chance to go get a player who has been there and done that: Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo Has Experience
Steeler Nation may be asking, “Why would they add a fifth quarterback to the group?” For starters, out of all the quarterbacks that are currently on the Steelers roster, Garoppolo would stand above everyone else simply because he has the most success and the most experience in the NFL, including a trip to Super Bowl LIV in 2019. In joining the Steelers, he would become the oldest player in the quarterback room, but that’s not a bad thing given that the average age for the Steelers quarterbacks is 25.5-years-old. Garoppolo can use his experience to take the young quarterbacks, especially Kenny Pickett and Chris Oladokun, under his wing.
The quarterback battle has been underwhelming according to multiple reports. Mitch Trubisky is struggling with first ream reps and Pickett is following suit.
Mitch Trubisky the past four practices in Seven Shots (2pt conversion simulation):
10 passes thrown
0 "TD" passes
(also, a failed scramble and a failed Najee Harris run)
He hasn't directed a "score" since Thursday
He unfailingly has gotten EVERY single first-team rep all camp
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022
Brook Pryor, ESPN NFL Nation reporter covering the Steelers, spoke on The Fan Morning Show Thursday morning, sharing that what she’s seen at training camp so far is “uninspiring.”
“I think body of work as a whole, I have been most impressed with Rudolph… a little surprised that Trubisky has struggled and then Pickett looks like a rookie… like the game was a little too fast for him.”
Garoppolo Looks Ready
Following off-season surgery to address a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder, footage out of camp suggests Garoppolo is healthy and ready to go.
Attn: #Browns, #Texans, #Steelers, #NYGiants, #Seahawks (am I missing any teams? 😂). This is video of Jimmy Garoppolo that was taken by fan @NitensonBrian today at #49ers training camp. pic.twitter.com/U3A9Zrlgzh
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) August 3, 2022
“Jimmy’s doing a really good job, he’s building his stamina in the throwing program that was prescribed all along and working out really strongly and aggressively,” said 49ers general manager, John Lynch. “We’ll stay patient through with this one as well and come to a great conclusion for everybody involved,” he adds.
Garoppolo is cleared to practice with no restrictions, but he hasn’t been taking snaps with the team. Instead, he has been working off to the side.
Because of the Injury, it Wouldn’t Cost Much for the Steelers to Bring in Garoppolo
The ship has sailed in San Francisco for Garoppolo to be QB1 as second-year man, Trey Lance, is set to lead the franchise for the foreseeable future.
“We have moved on to Trey,” said San Fransisco 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan. “This is Trey’s team. That’s nothing against Jimmy. We made that decision a year ago and we’re going with that… Jimmy knows we’re going with Trey, Trey knows we’re going with Trey, and our team does, and everyone likes both of those guys,” he adds.
ESPN Senior NFL Insider, Adam Schefter, also doesn’t expect Garoppolo to be a part of the 49ers in 2022:
“They’re hoping that all of a sudden, there will be a team out there that emerges that has interest in him,” said Schefter.
"I do not expect, [the 49ers] do not expect, Jimmy Garoppolo to be a part of the 49ers in 2022. They are turning the page and handing the football to Trey Lance."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) August 4, 2022
This all bodes well for the Steelers.
Since the 49ers are clear they want to part ways with Garoppolo, the asking price likely won’t be high. With already a loaded quarterback room in Pittsburgh, this opens the door for the Steelers to trade someone along the likes of Mason Rudolph along with a late-round pick so Garoppolo could slide into Rudolph’s spot. That is an instant upgrade. So far, in Rudolph’s three-year career, he’s played second fiddle to Ben Roethlisberger and has only amassed 2,366 yards passing, 16 touchdowns, and a QBR of 80.9. Compare that to Garoppolo’s career and it’s not even close – 11,162 passing yards, 71 touchdowns and a QBR of 98.9.
The only issue that would hinder a deal is the money due to Garoppolo in 2022, but this is something the Steelers can work around. According to Spottrac.com, the 49ers are set to pay Garoppolo $24.2 million in base salary. If the Steelers made a trade to acquire him, they would need to take on his salary with only $14.3 million in cap space, unless the team extends his contract and restructure other players’ salaries. Rudolph is set to make $3 million in 2022 so that would reduce the initial salary hit to $21.2 million.
The Steelers and Garoppolo Have One Thing in Common
As mentioned above, Garoppolo has some experience doing what only a select few individuals can do in the NFL – winning. Coincidentally, Head Coach Mike Tomlin knows a thing or two about winning as well (15 straight non-losing seasons). Since Tomlin has taken over at the helm for the Steelers, he was fortunate to have future Hall of Fame Roethlisberger taking the snaps, so bringing in a veteran would help fill that void.
Yes, drafting Pickett at 20 overall shows that there is a plan in place, and bringing in 27-year-old Trubisky on a team-friendly deal proves that the Steelers still have plans to win, but why not bring in a guy who’s been there and done that to pair with Tomlin?
Would you like to see Garoppolo in the black in gold? Let us know, below!