Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, 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
Based on the comments section, it seems as though a majority of our community is on board for Paxton Lynch—I’m hesitant to make up a slogan or phrase about fans for a player who’s name is ‘lynch’ (this is a joke, of course)—and ready to let Duck Season by a bygone era.
I’m sure those in Lynch’s camp are also aware of what I’ve said over the course of the past few months about him. He is a confirmed first-round bust, on his third team since being drafted in 2016, and there are no strong indications that he’s suddenly going to improve. But first-round busts can make for fine third arms.
At least based on the team’s offseason communication, they are very much ready and willing, and able, to throw Lynch into that competition, facing off against Devlin Hodges (and J.T. Barrett) for a spot on the 53-man roster. Ostensibly, for the number three quarterback job, though it can’t be ruled out altogether that the backup job may also become available.
There have simply been too many statements from Kevin Colbert, from Mike Tomlin, and even from Art Rooney II who have talked about Paxton Lynch as part of a group of quarterbacks that have allowed them as an organization to shy away from the idea of signing a veteran backup, even knowing full well that the performance that they got out of their backups last season was not adequate.
The biggest argument that those who are pushing for Lynch tend to make is the prospect of his late-blooming maturity. This offseason, he will have Matt Canada working as his quarterback coach. Frankly, we don’t know much about him, since he’s never even worked in the NFL before, but at least he’s not dual-wielding play-calling responsibilities.
None of us have ever seen Lynch throw a football in a Steelers jersey. We’ve seen him throw for the Broncos. We’ve seen him throw for the Seahawks. But every year is a new year, and this is his first full one with Pittsburgh. Something of a fresh start. As Colbert said, ‘we’ll see what he’s got’.