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Arthur Smith hire: Ryan Tannehill eyed as potential Steelers target if Mason Rudolph exits

Arthur Smith is the new Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator. The team may consider QB Ryan Tannehill as a potential option.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have just announced that Arthur Smith will be their next offensive coordinator. This news comes as we are still six weeks away from free agency, but there is already speculation about how this move could impact quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

It is clear that Pittsburgh is looking for a quarterback competition, with Kenny Pickett expected to enter camp as the starter. However, the Steelers also want someone to push Pickett, ideally Mason Rudolph, who is a pending free agent that the coaches and ownership are interested in re-signing. If Rudolph returns, the conversation ends, and it will be Pickett versus Rudolph in camp.

But what if Rudolph decides to leave? If that happens, the Steelers will need to look for a replacement. One potential option could be Ryan Tannehill. While Mitch Trubisky is technically under contract for 2024, it is unlikely that he will provide much competition for Pickett. This leaves Tannehill as a potential candidate to join the team.

Tannehill's best years came when he played under Arthur Smith in 2019 and 2020. After being a first-round pick in 2012, Tannehill struggled to find success with the Miami Dolphins. However, when he joined the Tennessee Titans and began working with Smith, his career took off. He had a career year in 2019, and the following year was even better, with Tannehill throwing for 33 touchdowns.

Since Smith left, Tannehill has faced challenges, including injuries and losing his starting job to Will Levis. It is unlikely that he will return to Tennessee for the next season, making him a potential fit for the Steelers.

While Tannehill may not be the ideal starter due to his age and injury history, he could provide valuable veteran experience and push Pickett to perform at his best. Tannehill knows Smith's system and has shown that he can succeed in it. Additionally, he would not cost as much as other veteran quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins or Justin Fields, making him a practical option for the Steelers.

Signing Tannehill would be a practical move for the Steelers, similar to hiring Smith as their offensive coordinator. While it may not be the most exciting option, it could be the best fit for the team's needs. In a perfect world, Rudolph would return, and Tannehill would not need to see the field. However, if Rudolph does not return, Tannehill could provide the veteran experience and competition that the Steelers are looking for in a backup quarterback.

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