Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: QB Dwayne Haskins
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: While not unexpected, the Steelers’ addition of a fourth quarterback, and it being in the form of Joshua Dobbs, ensures that the former first-round draft pick will be forced to earn a roster spot, rather than having one handed to him.
It was always the assumption, if not the plan — and it was surely the plan as well — that the Steelers would at some point this offseason add a fourth quarterback who could at least provide some level of competition for Dwayne Haskins, as the former first-round draft pick begins his quest of salvaging his career.
With both Joshua Dobbs and Devlin Hodges lapsing into availability since last offseason, the Steelers were left with just Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph at the quarterback position before they agreed to sign Haskins to a Reserve/Future contract. This after the Washington Football Team cut Haskins outright, and he went unclaimed via waivers.
Pittsburgh could have just added some college free agent quarterback. But instead they re-signed a veteran who has several years of experience in their system in Joshua Dobbs. Outside of the 2019 season when they traded him for a fifth-round pick when the opportunity became available, they have consistently shown that they have a high opinion of him.
In other words, even though it took nearly a month for them to get around to re-signing him, Dobbs is here to legitimately compete for a roster spot. Pittsburgh didn’t bring Dobbs back just to be a fourth arm as Haskins strolls his way to the 53-man roster.
It is up to the former Ohio State standout to prove that he has the talent and the intangibles to justify being reserved a spot on somebody’s team this year. And that he also displays the emotional maturity to not be a problem. Even his former head coach, Ron Rivera, has said that he struggled to dedicate himself to his job. Pittsburgh forcing him to compete for it should help with that.