The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Paxton Lynch will be the Steelers’ number three quarterback in 2020.
Explanation: Paxton Lynch is probably a name that a lot of Steelers fans forget. I know I’ve forgotten about him a number of times, especially when writing about Devlin Hodges, frankly, and his likelihood of retaining his spot on the depth chart. He is more veteran, yet actually has less playing time now than Hodges.
Paxton Lynch already has four years of NFL experience under his belt after being a first-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2016. Coaches have commented on seeing his ‘pedigree’ in practice. After Mason Rudolph was injured late in the year following Devlin Hodges’ benching, Mike Tomlin cited Lynch’s lack of practice reps for why he was not being considered to start the finale.
That won’t be a problem for 2020, because he’ll have an entire offseason to work. Hodges was with the team since May and knew the system. Lynch didn’t join the team until after Week Two, and he was hardly getting any reps because of the need to give all of them to the vastly underexperienced quarterbacks.
Hodges had a nice run, but Lynch would make a better option for the number three quarterback once the team pretty much decided that Rudolph is the number two. Frankly, they might be able to trade him the way they traded Joshua Dobbs.
There is a reason that Lynch has already been on several teams. It’s obvious by now that he’s not a first-round talent, but the Seattle Seahawks didn’t think he was worth a roster spot last year. The Broncos dumped him even though they had nobody else.
Hodges has a lot of qualities that can be developed. He is accurate and is willing to attempt the difficult throws. He clearly has much more upside.
And then there is the distinct possibility that neither Lynch nor Hodges is the number three quarterback. you never know how might become available over the course of the offseason, even if the Steelers have said that they’re currently not looking into exploring the backup quarterback market.