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Colbert: Steelers Will Tender Dwayne Haskins, Could ‘Evolve’ into Starting Option



Dwayne Haskins

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers only have one quarterback under contract as the team enters the 2022 offseason, but despite his free agent status, it seems like a pretty sure bet that Dwayne Haskins will be part of the team when the Steelers hit the field for training camp this summer.

Haskins is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Steelers can tender him a contract offer that would give them right of first refusal should he sign with another club and draft pick compensation should he leave. In fact, because Haskins was a first-round pick by Washington, the Steelers only need to tender him a $2.5 million contract in order to retain right of first refusal and secure a first-round pick in compensation if he’s signed by another team.

That deal sounds like one the Steelers are ready and willing to sign up for, based on what general manager Kevin Colbert had to say on Monday.

“Dwayne will be a restricted free agent,” Colbert said. “I’m sure we’ll decide to tender him at some point in that process.”

As for Haskins’ future role on the team, Colbert was a little bit more guarded. After coming over from Washington last January, Haskins was slotted behind Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph all summer. He was able to land the third roster spot at the position after Joshua Dobbs suffered a turf toe injury in the preseason, but was activated for just one game all season, serving as Rudolph’s backup in the Steelers’ tie with the Detroit Lions while Roethlisberger was out with COVID-19.

It seems pretty clear that in the minds of the Steelers’ brass, Haskins is the second of the team’s two current options, even if they’re sure they want him back.

“Dwayne Haskins came in, did some nice things throughout the season as a scout team quarterback, played some throughout the preseason, and we’re excited to see what Dwayne can provide, from competition, or maybe he evolves as a starter,” Colbert said. “None of us know at this point.”

It also seems extremely likely that the Steelers aren’t done adding to the quarterback room, with the club extensively scouting the quarterbacks in the NFL Draft class while Colbert wouldn’t rule out the team making a run at a trade acquisition or landing a big-name free agent, either. That would make Haskins a relative long shot for the starter’s role.

“It will be a great training camp for those two and whatever player we’ll be able to add in that mix,” Colbert said.

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