2019 South Side Questions: Devlin Hodges’ Next Meaningful Pass More Likely To Come In NFL Or XFL?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.

The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.

How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Is Devlin Hodges’ next non-exhibition pass more likely to come in an NFL game or an XFL game?

A lot can happen between now and September. Or now and December. Frankly, given the season that we’ve just been through as Steelers fans, this should go without saying. Under normal circumstances, a player like Devlin Hodges never even makes a roster, or, at best is a weekly gameday inactive. Yet he started six games during the 2019 season.

Currently, he figures to be slated in as the number three quarterback for the Steelers in 2020, and that is assuming that both Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph return healthy, and that Rudolph continues to hold Duck off for the backup role.

Yet we also don’t know what potential plans may be in the works or could develop over the course of the offseason. They haven’t even begun to consider the possibility of signing a veteran, for example, but that could be an option for them.

They also could potentially consider carrying only two quarterbacks, which they did in multiple instances last season, for the first time that I can remember outside of extenuating circumstances that were limited to a one-game scenario.

In the event that Hodges somehow fails to catch on with the Steelers for another season, it’s reasonable to be open to the possibility that he goes unsigned. Even if he has several starts under his belt, his tenure didn’t exactly end well. In that light, he could ultimately wind up in the XFL in 2021. And, at the very least, it’s hard to see him rising above the third-string quarterback with the Steelers.

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