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 won’t make the 53-man roster.
Explanation: The Steelers re-signed quarterback Joshua Dobbs yesterday, giving them four at the position. It also gives former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins a challenger for a roster spot. There is also still the potential that they could draft a quarterback. Haskins could be placed on the practice squad, provided that he isn’t picked up off waivers, if they want to continue to develop him but don’t want to carry him on the 53-man roster.
If the Steelers really believed in Haskins, they didn’t have to sign him to a Reserve/Future contract. The reality is that there was next to no competition for his services because barely anybody believes that they can make something out of him.
The point is, they didn’t bring him in because they think he can carve out a future in Pittsburgh. They’re just kicking the tires and seeing what there is to work with, without any real expectations. There is no reason to think, quite frankly, that he has an edge over Dobbs, whom they liked enough last year to sign back when he became available.
The Steelers may not draft a quarterback in the first round. Then again, they may. But if they draft anybody, they’ll do so believing that he can make the 53-man roster. It would be pretty unlikely if either Ben Roethlisberger or Mason Rudolph didn’t make it, so that could bump someone to the practice squad.
The Steelers are not drafting a quarterback this year. They built that into the plan of bringing Roethlisberger back for one more year. It’s a true all-or-nothing season, and using a draft pick on a quarterback would waste those efforts.
So that’s not part of the equation. Pittsburgh only re-signed Dobbs just to give Haskins somebody to push him. They could have easily re-signed Dobbs a month ago, two months ago, really any time after the season ended. He’s been free to sign with anybody for about a month and nobody was interested. If Haskins shows them anything, they’ll carry him. And he has a little more than nothing. Enough to be the Steelers’ number three. Dobbs could be signed to the practice squad, too.