Skip to main content

As NFL free agency rolls on at a breakneck pace while the quarterback carousel is spinning, the Pittsburgh Steelers got their man. The team signed Buffalo Bills backup QB Mitchell Trubisky be its starting signal-caller in 2022. While many Steelers fans applauded the move, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas aren’t fans of it. Bringing in Trubisky dropped Pittsburgh’s odds of making the Super Bowl dramatically.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are replacing Ben Roethlisberger with Mitchell Trubisky

(L-R) Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stands with the Lombardi Trophy in 2011; former Buffalo Bills backup QB Mitchell Trubisky warms up in 2021. The Steelers signing the QB dropped the team's Super Bowl odds.
(L-R) Mike Tomlin, Mitchell Trubisky | TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images; Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Mitchell Trubisky started one season for the North Carolina Tar Heels. As a junior, he threw for 3,748 yards with a 68.0% completion rate. He also added 30 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Trubisky ran for 308 yards, too, and scored five TDs on the ground.

These stats, along with a strong pre-draft performance that showcased his arm strength and athleticism, caused the Chicago Bears to trade up one spot to take the Ohio native No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The fact that Trubisky didn’t have much starting experience, coupled with the fact that the Bears foolishly traded up one spot to draft him, hurt his career before it even began.

The fact that nine and 11 picks later, respectively, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson came off the board hurt his reputation as time went on.

Trubisky was decent in Chicago. In his four-year stint there with a 29-21 record, 10,609 yards, a 64% completion rate, 64 TDs, and 37 INTs. He also made a Pro Bowl and led the Bears to a playoff appearance.

After a 2021 season that saw (likely) future Hall of Fame QB Ben Roethlisberger end his illustrious 18-year career, the Pittsburgh Steelers were back in the quarterback market for the first time in almost two decades.

Then, Pittsburgh aficionado Aaron Rodgers decided to stay with the Green Bay Packers. The Seattle Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. And the Indianapolis Colts shipped Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Deshaun Watson are still out there, but Pittsburgh decided to address its need at QB with Trubisky. The former Bear spent last season backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo and rehabilitating his tarnished image.

While it seems like taking a chance on a highly-drafted player is a smart move for the Steelers, Las Vegas disagrees.

The Steelers’ Super Bowl odds dropped dramatically after signing Trubisky

Prior to signing Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year, $14.2 million deal, the Pittsburgh Steelers only had Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins on the roster. Both these passers have had chances as NFL starters in the past. It didn’t go well for either of them.

Despite not having a true starting QB, the Steelers’ odds on FanDuel of winning the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2022 season were at +5500. That’s not a vote of confidence for Rudolph or Haskins. Rather, it’s a nod to the possibility of the organization bringing in a star QB. Vegas oddsmakers will always try to mitigate risk this way.

Once the franchise settled on a signal-caller for next season, Vegas reacted to the reality of the situation, and that reality should make Steelers fans nervous.

The Steeler’s Super Bowl odds dropped from +5500 to +7000 after the Trubisky deal went down.

Those Super Bowl odds are currently seventh-worst in the NFL, tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

When the big personnel move of the offseason drops your Super Bowl odds into Jaguars Land, that’s not good at all, especially when other QBs are moving the needle for their team in the other direction.

The QB carousel is affecting Super Bowl odds

Much of the big quarterback news from the 2022 free-agent period either improved a team’s odds or kept them the same, as Pat McAfee recently explained on the Pat McAfee Show.

For McAfee’s former team, the Indianapolis Colts, trading Carson Wentz kept everything relatively unchanged. The Colts were at +6000 before and after the trade. It’s since jumped to +2800 on rumored Baker Mayfield might be headed one state West.

News like Tom Brady’s un-retiring caused a monumental shift for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The day before the comeback came to light, the Bucs were +2800. After the news, that number plummeted to +750.

Other QB news-related odds include the Green Bay Packers staying as the third favorite at +850 with Aaron Rodgers, the Denver Broncos jumping up to +1500 after acquiring Russell Wilson and his old team, the Seattle Seahawks falling to +8000, the fourth-worst odds in the league.

Whether you are a gambler or not, watching the Super Bowl odds and seeing how moves affect NFL teams is a fascinating way to get insight into how the Vegas experts view what teams do in the offseason.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and contract figures courtesy of Spotrac


Former NFL Lineman Ross Tucker Reveals Ben Roethlisberger Didn’t Work Hard as a Young QB: ‘He Got by Playing Street Ball’