PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for competition with Kenny Pickett this offseason, and their top choice is Mason Rudolph. But if they can't retain the veteran in free agency, they're being linked to other options with relationships to new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
Rudolph is reportedly looking for a "fresh start" outside of the Steelers. As he hits free agency, it appears unlikely Pittsburgh is the favorite to re-sign him, leaving them looking elsewhere for their competition against Pickett.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been linked to Pittsburgh, and now, Atlanta Falcons passer Desmond Ridder is being named a target as well.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Ian Rapoport and Mike Garrafolo recently reported that if the Falcons trade for a quarterback this offseason, with Justin Fields being their top option, Ridder could be on the market. And a team that makes sense is the Steelers.
"Once they acquire a new QB, potentially trading Ridder would be an option, as well. It might be a situation where a fresh start works for all parties," NFL Network writes.
Smith coached Ridder in Atlanta for two seasons, where the former third-round draft pick started 17 games, going 8-9. He's thrown 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while rushing for five touchdowns this past season.
The Steelers had interest in Ridder during the NFL Draft process, and could look to make him an option alongside Pickett in training camp. If Smith believes there is potential, Pittsburgh could make the move, which likely won't cost them much. Others have speculated the move as well.
Team President Art Rooney II said the team is open to making a trade for a passer, and if the price is right and the potential is there, he could be a name they monitor.
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