The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Dwayne Haskins on a one-year contract, which gives the Steelers a contingency plan if Ben Roethlisberger decides to retire. The former first-round pick brings a skill-set that is closer to what the Steelers are used to seeing, rather than their current backup quarterbacks (Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs). When Rudolph had the opportunities to play the last two seasons, the offense ran like it was stuck in quicksand. Rudolph chose to rely on dump-offs and short passing to essentially not lose a game. Haskins has shown flashes where he can make big-time throws. While at Ohio State, Haskins showed that he was able to push the ball down the field in a high-powered offense. He wasn’t able to do it as well in Washington but the plays were there that showed that it was in the realm of outcomes.
The big question remains whether Ben Roethlisberger and his $41M salary will remain on the books or whether the Steelers will move on and release their signal-caller, which would free up nearly $20M in cap space. If Roethlisberger does move on, Haskins has every opportunity to win the starting job on an offense, with the best supporting cast he has had during his young career.
If Roethlisberger stays in Pittsburgh, this allows Haskins to learn behind a future Hall of Fame quarterback, who he shares a similar skill-set. The other item to watch for with Haskins being the backup is that Roethlisberger has played 16 games just once in the past six seasons. This would allow for Haskins to have lower pressure starting opportunities.
Early in the 2019 season, Haskins showed the ability and desire to take deep shots to Terry McClaurin. This is something that can carry over to what rookie Standout Chase Claypool excels at. Dionte Johnson would give Haskins a top-notch safety valve. Fantasy-wise for the receivers both Claypool and Johnson could see dips in production going from Roethlisberger to Haskins in the chance he does start for them. That being said Haskins still could be an upgrade from Mason Rudolph.
This is a new beginning for Dwayne Haskins, who was rushed into a situation in Washington, coming off of only one season as a starter in college. Being forced to start too early and then having it ripped away due to struggles is something that can stunt a young quarterback’s growth, which means getting out is the best-case scenario for Haskins. Being on an established team with an offensive identity is huge for a young quarterback and this is a chance for a new beginning for Haskins whether he starts or not