The Athletic Labels Mitch Trubisky Steelers’ Wage Cap Lower Candidate

Ahead of a big offseason for the future of the franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers have some decisions to make when it comes to making subtractions to the roster, freeing up some cap space.

While cornerbacks William Jackson III and Ahkello Witherspoon are easy decisions to make as far as cuts are, the situation with quarterback Mitch Trubisky remains a tricky one from a salary cap perspective, at least for some media members, which includes The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, who labeled Trubisky as the Steelers’ salary cap cut candidate Saturday morning. 

“In a perfect world, the Steelers would love to keep a veteran like Trubisky to stand behind Kenny Pickett, but when you are tight against the cap, all things are on the table, including cutting Trubisky loose. Same goes for linebacker Myles Jack or cornerback William Jackson III,” Kaboly writes regarding his decision to label Trubisky as the top cap cut candidate. “With the sure departure of No. 3 quarterback Mason Rudolph as well, a Trubisky release would force the Steelers into a tough situation behind Pickett. But is a guy who can potentially hold a clipboard all season worth $8 million? That’s what the Steelers new front office must decide considering they also want to re-sign Alex Highsmith, Terrell Edmunds, Cam Sutton and potentially Larry Ogunjobi.

“Jack also could be on the chopping block despite playing well last year. Jackson is almost a guaranteed release. He’s counting $12.2 million against the cap and practiced twice last year after getting traded from Washington.”

Trubisky is slated to count $10.62 million against the cap in 2023, though his base salary is just $8 million. Were the Steelers to cut him loose, they’d save $8 million in cap space, while incurring a dead cap hit of $2.625 million.

With quarterback Kenny Pickett on a rookie contract and counting just $3.197 million against the cap in 2023 with a base salary of $870,000, paying your top two quarterbacks roughly $14 million against the cap seems like a rather great bargain overall, especially considering how important the quarterback position is in the NFL in today’s game.

That’s very affordable overall. Add in the fact that Trubisky has starting experience in Pittsburgh, knows the system and the playmakers, and worked very well overall with Pickett last season after being demoted, there’s no real decision to be made regarding Trubisky’s outlook with the black and gold for 2023.

Yet, the conversation — for some reason — continues.

Last season showed Pickett is susceptible to injuries, missing the Week 15 game on the road against Carolina with a concussion after leading the Week 14 home game against Baltimore in the first quarter. He also missed the second half of the Week 6 matchup against Tampa Bay, which Trubisky came in and closed out in impressive fashion.

Having that type of experience behind Pickett is a real fail-safe for the Steelers in 2023.

Team President and owner Art Rooney II recently told KDKA-TV’s Bob Pompeani he expects Trubisky to be a Steeler in 2023, and when he says something publicly like that, chances are it’s written in stone.

“It’s still early in the offseason but I expect Mitch will be on the roster next season,” Rooney told Pompeani. “And be an effective backup when we need him. I think he showed we can win with him. I think he’ll be on the roster next year.”

Of course, the Steelers could decide to cut ties with Trubisky, who previously told ESPN’s Brooke Pryor he wishes he wouldn’t have signed with the Steelers on the first day of free agency. The Steelers want volunteers, not hostages, but they also value experienced, veteran backup quarterbacks.

On paper, Trubisky is a cap cut candidate without a doubt, but in reality he’s a valuable asset to the Steelers and their current roster overall, which should mean he’s pretty safe overall moving forward in the black and gold from a backup quarterback perspective.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest articles