Would the Pittsburgh Steelers have given a shot to Dwayne Haskins had he cost much more than the minimum? Perhaps not. Probably not, even. But he’s here now, and he’s getting his chance, and seemingly making the most of it. Yesterday, general manager Kevin Colbert hopped on SiriusXM Radio with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, and talked a bit about why they felt like there might be something behind the former Washington quarterback.
“In my opinion, Dwayne came out too early”, he said of the 2019 first-round pick. “Not to say he didn’t get drafted and picked at the 14th pick, and it worked out for him from that standpoint, but sometimes, when you play too early, and you’re not ready, especially at that position, I think it can be a career-threatening type of objective”.
Haskins was 21 years old at the time that he was drafted by Washington, after playing just one season of starting football for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2018. He completed 373 of 533 pass attempts that year for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns to eight interceptions, and surely thought he was on top of the world. But he wasn’t ready for the NFL. Certainly not in the Washington environment, in an area where he grew up.
“Dwayne has to prove that he can recover from his circumstances down in Washington”, Colbert said. “He had some really good play, he had some inconsistent play. They chose to move on, and we chose to pick him up, only because he’s a young, talented player”.
The Football Team released Haskins on December 29 last year, and the Steelers signed him to a Reserve/Future contract a few weeks after that on January 21. He received a veteran-minimum deal for his level of accrued experience, with no guarantees and no signing bonus, so anything he gets, he earns. Both sides know that.
“There’s no salary cap implications for us. It’s a, ‘Hey let’s, see what we got’, give you an opportunity to find yourself again”, Colbert said. “So far, he’s done that. He’s done it in spurts; he still needs to prove he can do it consistently. But again, with the extra preseason game, those guys will get ample opportunities”.
Yesterday, head coach Mike Tomlin said that Mason Rudolph would start their opening preseason game tomorrow, but Haskins would close out the first half. He was more vague about who would open the second half, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he starts out the third quarter. I don’t think they need to see too much of Joshua Dobbs in year five.