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Ex-Steelers Player Picks Between Jimmy G, Mason Rudolph

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks to throw the ball.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 23: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 23, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have to find a quarterback to replace Ben Roethlisberger this offseason and Jimmy Garoppolo has been mentioned as a popular option.

There are some people, like former Steeler Ryan Clark, who aren't enamored with the idea of Garoppolo suiting up in black and yellow. However, as Clark made clear on ESPN today, if the choice is Garoppolo or Mason Rudolph, Roethlisberger's backup, it is an easy call.

"For all I've said about Jimmy G, if it is Jimmy G or Mason Rudolph, you sign me freakin' up for the Jimmy G train," Clark said on NFL Live. "Because one thing Jimmy G has shown us: if you surround him with the right people, he can get you to a Super Bowl and he can get you to an NFC Championship.

"I don't care where Mason Rudolph is playing. If Mason Rudolph was in Kansas City, they ain't going to the championship. If Mason Rudolph was playing in Green Bay, they ain't going to the championship. If Mason Rudolph played for the 1985 Bears, the New England Patriots would beat them by 47 points."

Ouch. That may be harsh from Clark, but it's not necessarily unfair. Garoppolo is a limited quarterback, but at least can be a functioning starter in the NFL.

Rudolph? Well, he's only played in seven games with two starts over the last two seasons. But when he got extended playing time in 2019 (10 games, eight starts), he was rather pedestrian, throwing for 1,765 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

If the Steelers want to compete in 2022--and they should have the defense to do so--they will need a better quarterback option than Rudolph. Garoppolo would qualify as an upgrade.