Boy, people sure do refuse to believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers are genuinely comfortable with their backup quarterback position. earlier in the week, Bill Barnwell proposed that the team might want to consider pursuing the trade acquisition of Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins, positing that they could send Justin Layne and a fourth-round pick for him.
Now it’s Pro Football Focus making the case that the Steelers would be among the teams who make the most sense for a possible trade, if there were one to actually happen, since the Football Team has already not just demoted but benched Haskins, making him third string behind Kyle Allen and Alex Smith.
In their trade proposal, they have the Steelers giving up second- and fifth-round draft picks in exchange for the former 2019 first-round draft pick. Haskins has started 11 games since he was drafted and has gone 3-8 in them, though he has not been surrounded by much talent, either.
Theories about quarterback trades have blossomed since the Josh Rosen experience, a young quarterback who was traded after just one season after being an early first-round draft pick, when the Arizona Cardinals finished the year earning the top pick and selected another quarterback, Kyler Murray—let’s just say that they made the right call, in hindsight.
And to the credit of those who are trying to connect dots to Pittsburgh, they do have a very obvious track record recently of making trades, even high-profile and in-season trades. They acquired two players in-season via trade just last season, including All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, in a deal that required that they relinquish their first-round draft pick.
But there’s no way in hell the Steelers are going to give up a second-round pick, let along that and an additional draft pick, for a backup quarterback who has so much to prove. There aren’t really any indications that Pittsburgh was particularly high on Haskins coming out last year, either, which is pretty much always the case when they do make a move to bring somebody in.
Their backup quarterback situation could certainly be better, with Mason Rudolph as Ben Roethlisberger’s direct backup, and Joshua Dobbs behind him, plus Devlin Hodges on the practice squad. None of them have proven much of anything in the relatively little playing time they have gotten.
But this is not the time to be investing draft picks into backup quarterback trades unless your scouts are convinced the player has true starter potential. And Haskins is due a guaranteed $1.8 million for 2021, plus $2.4 in 2022.