Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT Dec 22 '78

Steelers signed QB Bruce Gradkowski to a three-year contract.

It was beyond time for the Steelers to upgrade their backup situation. Ben Roethlisberger has missed eight games over the last three seasons and Charlie Batch/Byron Leftwich proved mostly inept. Gradkowski, 30, brings 20 NFL starts and seven years of experience as a backup to the table.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT Dec 21 '78

Free agent QB Bruce Gradkowski will visit the Steelers.

The Steelers need to move on from the gray-bearded free agent Charlie Batch, and Byron Leftwich isn't coming back. Gradkowski is a solid veteran who last started a game in 2010 with the Raiders. He just turned 30 years old in January, and he sports a career 65.8 QB rating.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT Nov 22 '78

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the "odds look good" free agent Bruce Gradkowski returns as Andy Dalton's backup in 2013.

Gradkowski has attempted just 29 passes over the past two seasons, but is still only 30 years old. The owner of a career 65.8 QB rating, Gradkowski will be back if the Bengals will have him. Teams usually opt for continuity with their No. 2 spot.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT Oct 10 '78

In relief of Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski completed 5-of-11 passes for 65 yards in Sunday's Week 17, 23-17 win over the Ravens.

Dalton played the entire first half before Gradkowski entered to open up the third quarter. With the game tied at 7-7 at halftime, Gradkowski will get credit for the win. Cincinnati had nothing to gain in Week 17, but head coach Marvin Lewis didn't want to just sit his guys and have them cold for the playoffs. Gradkowski will return to his backup duties when the No. 6 seed Bengals open the playoffs on the road next weekend.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT Jun 21 '77

After replacing a dinged-up Andy Dalton at halftime, Bruce Gradkowski completed 5-of-12 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown as the Bengals upset the Browns in Week 1.

Dalton missed the second half with a right wrist injury. He'll return to the starting lineup at Denver next week. Gradkowski was mostly ineffective, but at least capitalized on a slow-moving Browns defense by executing a 41-yard touchdown throw to A.J. Green after a quick snap with the Cleveland team still in its huddle. Gradkowski managed just 51 yards on his other 11 attempts. Dalton's job is safe as the Bengals' starter.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT May 06 '77

Bengals agreed to terms with QB Bruce Gradkowski on a two-year contract.

This one has been in the cards for months. Gradkowski knows new coordinator Jay Gruden's offense, which takes on added importance after the lockout wiped out OTAs. A prototypical "bridge" QB, Gradkowski is the favorite to start in Cincinnati until Andy Dalton gains a familiarity with his teammates and Gruden's playbook. The Bengals QB situation is one to avoid in fantasy circles.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT May 06 '77

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms the Bengals have begun contract discussions with free agent QB Bruce Gradkowski.

This was fully expected. Gradkowski knows OC Jay Gruden's offense inside and out after playing under him and his brother for three years in Tampa. The Bengals have stated that rookie Andy Dalton will get a chance to start, but Gradkowski would be the prohibitive favorite for Week 1 if signed.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT May 03 '77

The Cincinnati Enquirer calls free agent Bruce Gradkowski a "name to watch" in the Bengals search for a veteran quarterback this summer.

Gradkowski worked with new Bengals OC Jay Gruden for three years in Tampa Bay, which could be a huge asset as the Bengals scramble to install their offense following the unusual offseason. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora also mentioned Gradkowski to Cincinnati as a possibility last month, so there's definitely smoke here.

Bruce Gradkowski QB PIT Apr 01 '77

NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora suggests the Bengals will turn to free agent Bruce Gradkowski as competition for Andy Dalton this summer.

Teams are confident that Gradkowski will play the role of the good soldier if forced into a backup role whereas Donovan McNabb and Vince Young may bridle at holding a clipboard. Bengals coordinator Jay Gruden coached Gradkowski in Tampa, so the connection makes plenty of sense. Grakowski has also been mentioned for the same "bridge" QB role in Minnesota with Christian Ponder.