Player: Joshua Dobbs
Experience: 4 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2020 Salary Cap Hit: $825,000
2020 Season Breakdown:
There isn’t much the tell, for obvious reasons, about Joshua Dobbs’ 2020 season. A 2017 fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in September of 2019 for a fifth-round pick.
When the Jaguars let him go after training camp this past season, the Steelers decided to bring him back, opting to have him serve as their number three quarterback. Devlin Hodges initially made the 53-man roster, but was waived an later re-signed to the practice squad, where he spent the 2020 season. Hodges had beat out Paxton Lynch for that number three job.
With Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph staying healthy all season, there wasn’t much for Dobbs to do, but we did hear from time to time about his input during games, sharing his observations, even suggesting a play or two.
When the Steelers came to the season finale with a 12-3 record and very little to play for, having already secured the division and the number three seed, they rested Roethlisberger and started Rudolph, with Dobbs dressing as backup.
However, he didn’t just back up Rudolph. He also played. They installed a package for him in the game, where he played a read-option quarterback, either handing the ball off or running. They did this about half a dozen times to some success.
It was enough to raise the question of whether or not they would dress Dobbs—either as the backup or as a third quarterback—for the postseason game. It gave the Cleveland Browns something to ponder, but ultimately, he was a healthy scratch, as he had been for the first 15 games.
Free Agency Outlook:
Raise your hand if you thought in August that Joshua Dobbs would be on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ opening day roster last season. If you have your hand raised, then, for starters, you’re lying. In addition, you win absolutely nothing, even assuming that you’re not lying. But I do scratch my head wondering what made you think that.
Perhaps you evaluated the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback situation and decided that Dobbs, whom the Steelers traded to Jacksonville in September of 2019 for a fitfh-round pick, was likely to fail to make the roster, and that Pittsburgh would feel better about him then Devlin Hodges or the legendary Paxton Lynch.
If you had that foresight, then, again, good on you, but it doesn’t get you anything. Now, the question is what comes next for Dobbs. The Steelers still have Ben Roethlisberger under contract—for now—and Mason Rudolph remains the backup. They signed Dwayne Haskins to a no-risk deal, but Dobbs will be an unrestricted free agent.
Given the Haskins signing, I wouldn’t think that they are looking to bring back Dobbs. It’s possible that there is still a market for him, as we heard in prior years. Not to earn a healthy contract, of course, but at least to land a job. After all, the Jaguars gave up a fifth-rounder for him just 17 months ago.