Dwayne Haskins has already found his new NFL home.
It makes sense that Pittsburgh would offer a trial run for the No. 15 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Despite his clear physical gifts, he was never able to put it all together in Washington, completing 267 of 444 passes (60.1 percent) for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 74.4 over two seasons with the WFT.
His final week in Washington was notably brutal. He reportedly attended a strip club without a mask — he claims it was a birthday party — was fined $40,000 for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol and later stripped of his captaincy from the WFT. Washington had no choice but to start him in the team’s final game against Carolina, but he gave it no reason to consider keeping him on after a dismal 14-of-28 passing performance for 154 yards, two interceptions and a fumble lost. He was later benched for Taylor Heinicke, who put together a surprisingly strong performance in Washington’s NFC wild-card berth against Tampa Bay.
The Steelers, meanwhile, are likely looking to the future for the quarterback position now that Ben Roethlisberger, 38, has completed his 17th NFL season. After the retirement of Philip Rivers, Roethlisberger is the last remaining quarterback from that legendary trio of 2004 first-round signal-callers (the last being No. 1 overall pick Eli Manning). He completed 399 of 608 passes (65.6 percent) for 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and a 94.1 quarterback rating in 2020, a year after an injury limited him to only two games in 2019.
That said, it’s clear that there’s room for competition behind him as the team looks forward: Backups James Washington and Joshua Dobbs combined to complete 29 of 48 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns to one interception behind Roethlisberger. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Pittsburgh would give Haskins a chance to show he can contribute to the team.
Otherwise, the team may look to the 2021 NFL Draft for its quarterback of the future: Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer projects the team to select Florida quarterback Kyle Trask with the No. 24 overall pick.