What Signing Dwayne Haskins Means, And Doesn't Mean, for the Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers added a former first-round pick to their quarterback room.
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers shook the NFL on Thursday when they turned headlines from "Dwayne Haskins visits" to "Dwayne Haskins signs."

The Steelers, a team that still has Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph on their roster, decided they weren't done searching for depth at their most crucial position. And much like teams have done in the past, they decided their best route was to take a chance on a player who comes with low cost and high reward.

Haskins isn't the ideal starting quarterback in the NFL. He's 3-10 as a starter, has thrown 14 interceptions to 12 touchdowns and was cut by his last team after attending a strip club with no mask during a pandemic in the middle of the regular season.

Haskins isn't in Pittsburgh to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, though. He's here to provide depth, and showcase his skills - and maybe - show the Steelers and the NFL that he's still a first-round talent.

So, what does the signing of Haskins mean, and not mean, for the Steelers?

Here's the answer.

What It Means - Haskins being in Pittsburgh is essentially no more than replacing Devlin Hodges. A Future/Reserve contract is a pretty basic, low cap hit deal that implicates he's on a tryout-type year with the team.

It doesn't guarantee him a spot on the 53-man roster or that he's going to compete with Rudolph for the No. 2 job if Roethlisberger retires this offseason.

This is a low risk, high reward deal. Haskins was once believed to be a franchise quarterback in this league, and to sign him for basically nothing means the Steelers have the chance to see if he can turn his career around.

That's what this deal is. Haskins will come in, play behind Roethlisberger and Rudolph, compete with Josh Dobbs for the third-string job and try to showcase his skills throughout the season.

If it goes well, he'll earn another deal and possibly move over Rudolph on the depth chart.

What It Doesn't Mean - For starters, this has nothing to do with Roethlisberger's decision to retire or not retire. Signing Haskins was a totally different thing, and the 38-year-old doesn't have any more pressure on him to walk away now that Haskins is here.

It also doesn't mean the Steelers aren't still looking for their Roethlisberger successor. If Haskins plays well throughout the season, the team could consider letting him compete with Rudolph and whomever else next spring, but their plans don't change after the signing.

As of now, the Steelers' best bet is to let Haskins and Rudolph compete next offseason while also bringing in a high-round draft pick to throw into the mix.

All Haskins does is provide options.

By the start of the regular season, we won't remember Haskins is around much. He'll fill a role similar to Jamies Winston in New Orleans, playing behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill.

A signing to get excited about? Certainly. But don't think Haskins changes the landscape of the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.