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
I do find it interesting that everybody within the Steelers organization this offseason that has been asked about the state of their backup quarterback position has voluntarily brought up Paxton Lynch, the only quarterback on the roster who did not throw a pass last season—and even Jaylen Samuels threw a pass.
Lynch was a former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos, he obviously never panned out there and, as the regime change, they elected to move on from him after two seasons. Since then, he has struggled to find a stable home, but the Steelers seem to feel he could be in the mix to make their team and stick in 2020.
With franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returning, there are two more spots on the depth chart to fill in, and one will obviously go to Mason Rudolph, whom the team has already backed to continue to be their backup quarterback, the role he held on opening day last season.
The final position figures to be settled between Lynch and Devlin Hodges, who started six games last season. Hodges spent the offseason with the team while Lynch was only acquired a couple of games into the regular season, so he didn’t have the proper time to learn the offense.
An added bonus for whoever loses the quarterback competition is that there is an increased chance they could actually stick anyway. Under the terms of the CBA currently on the table, active rosters will expand to 55 players and the practice squad will expand to 12 (and eventually to 14). The Steelers always carry three quarterbacks, but with four more spots to work with, and given the uncertainty of the position, they could opt to keep four in total.