According to Aditi Kinkhabwala before the cutdown deadline yesterday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers were, she was “told”, were “open to moving” third-year quarterback Joshua Dobbs, whom they ultimately kept as their number three quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph.
#Steelers are in market for another TE. Told they’re open to moving QB Josh Dobbs. But…Dobbs is brilliant & extremely well-liked. He gives a grt look mobile QB weeks (see: L Jackson), w/ some creativity he could be used unconventionally – & Ben Roethlisberger loves him in room.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 31, 2019
Their number four quarterback during the preseason this year was Devlin Hodges, a rookie undrafted free agent who was originally signed after he tried out for the team during rookie minicamp. The Steelers elected to go with him over Reserve/Future signing Brogan Roback, and he ended up having the most playing time of any number four quarterback for the Steelers in many years.
Now that Hodges has been released, and the roster has already been made, however, the question is whether or not the Steelers are still ‘open’ to moving on from Dobbs if they can get something for him in a trade. And that’s assuming that what Kinkhabwala was told had any merit in the first place.
What is worth noting is that there are multiple teams who currently have only one quarterback, or one healthy quarterback, on their roster. Perhaps the most significant of those would be the Seattle Seahawks, who first moved on from Paxton Lynch, and then yesterday also decided to release Geno Smith, who at that point was assumed to be their backup.
Unsurprisingly, the Indianapolis Colts are another one of the teams who only currently have one quarterback on their 53-man roster following the retirement of Andrew Luck. Now Jacoby Brissett is all that remains, but that comes with a caveat, because Chad Kelly is still a part of the team, but is serving a suspension to begin the season. Still, they can’t go into Week One with only one quarterback on the roster.
Then there is the Denver Broncos. As of this writing, the two quarterbacks on their roster are Joe Flacco and rookie second-round pick Drew Lock, but Lock is injured and the team has already announced that they will be playing him on the Reserve/Injured List and will (obviously) sign another quarterback.
And so we have at least three teams out there who will definitely, absolutely, be acquiring an additional quarterback at some time before the start of the regular season. But are any of them going to be interested in trading for a marginal third-year player?
There are veteran options on the open market, who would have an easier time assimilating to a new system on the fly. Names floated out have included Matt Cassel, David Fales, Taylor Heinicke, Brian Hoyer, Cardale Jones, Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer, Kyle Lauletta, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage, and the aforementioned Lynch and Smith.
Even assuming that Kinkhabwala was given valid information that the Steelers were open to moving on from Dobbs prior to the 4PM deadline, there is no indication that they will still be open to it after having made their roster moves. And even assuming that they remain open to it, there is no clear indication that any of the quarterback-needy teams would prefer to give the Steelers a draft pick for him over signing a veteran who is already available.