Now that the 2019 season is over, with a team other than ours having been crowned champion and there being much work to do to return to that status, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: QB Paxton Lynch
Stock Value: Up
Paxton Lynch may be one of the few players for the Steelers whom you can argue has seen his stock go up since the offseason began. This is primarily because the team has all but written in stone that they will not go out and sign a veteran quarterback, and that they consider him to be a part of the mix for 2020.
While the team fully anticipates that Ben Roethlisberger will make a recovery and return to the field in 2020, much of the rest of the position remains up in the air. The team is entering the offseason with the expectation that third-year Mason Rudolph will be their backup, after starting eight games this season, but lest ye forget, they are a team who carries three quarterbacks.
So the way the offseason is shaping up, he figures to be competing with Devlin Hodges for that number three role. Hodges was the number three last season as an undrafted rookie, at least after the Steelers traded away Joshua Dobbs. Lynch is a former first-round pick and remained behind Hodges on the depth chart all year, but he was only signed in-season after Roethlisberger was placed on injured reserve.
This year, he has the opportunity to benefit from having a full offseason and everything that goes along with that. He spent the offseason last year with the Seattle Seahawks, before ultimately being cut prior to the start of the regular season.
General manager Kevin Colbert had some kind words for Lynch about his belief that he can turn things around. At the end of the season, head coach Mike Tomlin said that he had seen the progress he was making while playing on the practice squad.
With the league reportedly expanding practice squads to 12 players (plus exemptions), and given Roethlisberger’s injury recovery, it’s entirely possible the Steelers keep four quarterbacks in total next year, so that’s yet another way that Lynch’s stock has risen since the end of last season.