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: Dwayne Haskins will throw a pass for the Steelers in 2021.
Explanation: It created a lot bigger buzz than it had any business creating when it was announced that the Steelers agreed to a contract with Dwayne Haskins, a former first-round quarterback heading into his third season. The fact that he was available after two years says all you need to know about that. But he’s on the roster, with minimal risk, and he’ll have his chance to show what he can do.
Given the Steelers’ history of having needed three (or more) quarterbacks to play at some point in a season, it’s fairly reasonable to bet on Dwayne Haskins attempting a pass in 2021. They had three quarterbacks play as recently as 2019, after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury, and then Mason Rudolph suffered a concussion.
While he has been healthier in recent years, Roethlisberger still has a long history of missing at least a game or two due to injury, which makes it likely Rudolph will see some time this year. And then Haskins is just one snap away from playing at that point.
There’s also the possibility that Haskins actually looks good and they want him to be the backup over Rudolph. I don’t think this would be the betting option right now, but it’s not a ridiculous notion to put out there.
Look, let’s get one thing straight: there’s no guarantee Haskins even makes it to the regular season. Art Rooney II has pretty much already said that they would like to further address the quarterback position, which means bringing somebody else in.
That could mean acquiring some form of veteran on the cheap, or it could mean drafting somebody, which would be pretty much a guaranteed roster spot. In that case, Haskins is as good as gone, with Rooney having also voiced pretty strong support for the idea that Rudolph is a capable player.