As it currently stands, the Pittsburgh Steelers have three quarterbacks under contract with them through the 2021 season. All three of them have received a good deal of attention, but for a variety of reasons, each in very different circumstances.
When it comes to Ben Roethlisberger, the question is whether or not he can still play at a high enough level in his 18th season, and if the team should rip the band-aid off and move on. As for Mason Rudolph, he is entering the final year of his rookie deal and still has a lot to prove, but he showed some flashes his last time on the field.
Then there’s Dwayne Haskins.
A former 2019 first-round draft pick by the Washington Football Team, they let him go at the end of last season following two years—and two different coaches—having met with frustration along the way. The Steelers only invested a minimum-salary contract in him, so it’s minimal risk, but nevertheless, he is a volatile property.
And the Steelers are intrigued by him, and the unknowns he brings. General manager Kevin Colbert talked about Haskins during an interview with Missi Matthews yesterday conducted exclusively for the team’s website.
“We’re excited to see what Dwayne can do with us”, he said. “We had high grades on Dwayne coming out of Ohio State. Of course, he got picked a lot higher than we were able to make that decision and it didn’t work. He’s a young, talented quarterback that we’re anxious to see what he can do once he gets in here and gets to working with us”.
Can you imagine if the Steelers actually drafted Haskins in 2019 in the first round after drafting Rudolph in the third round the year before, and then Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round the year before that?
Colbert’s comments are somewhat misleading, of course. Although they were slated to draft at the 20th spot in the first round, and Haskins ended up going at 15, the reality is that they moved up to 10th in order to draft Devin Bush, so if they were really committed to Haskins, they could have drafted him.
During his one season as a starter at Ohio State, he posted a 13-1 record, throwing for 4831 yards and 50 touchdowns against eight interceptions. Since entering the league, he has played in 16 games, throwing for 2804 yards with 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and a career quarterback rating of 74.4.
It will be the task of new quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan to evaluate Haskins and see what they have to work with. Sullivan was hired after Matt Canada, who was brought in just a year earlier, was promoted to offensive coordinator.