Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was just released by the Washington Football Team on Monday, but talking heads are already pontificating about his next team.
Wasting no time, NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms sees the Pittsburgh Steelers as a perfect destination for the young passer.
The former NFL quarterback l floated the idea of the Steelers signing Haskins on PFT Live on Tuesday. An idea with which host Mike Florio agreed.
“Hey Pittsburgh Steelers, what would it hurt to bring him in in the offseason?” Simms said.
Florio is intrigued by the idea as well, and believes Steelers culture and head coach Mike Tomlin are the necessary combination to get through to the troubled quarterback.
“One of the points of praise for Mike Tomlin with inside football is he has that ability to get through to guys,” Florio said. “Whatever it takes to get through to a guy and get him to perform, Tomlin knows how to handle those personalities and knows how to manage those personalities.”
A number of factors led to Washington’s release of Haskins, but the final straw came last week when he was photographed maskless at a strip club, in clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols and mid-pandemic common sense.
According to Florio, Tomlin is uniquely equipped to work with Haskins given his track record of juggling unique personalities, such as wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Florio all sees similarities between Haskins’ play style and that of current Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which he feels would allow Pittsburgh to continue its current philosophy on offense into the future.
“Some of the stuff we saw him doing behind the line of scrimmage, it’s kind of like Big Ben stuff,” Florio said. “Moving around, buying time, moving laterally, waiting for a guy to get open, getting rid of the football. Having that awareness, that presence, that ability to extend plays without taking off and running the ball.”
Simms concurred with Florio’s reasoning, but clarified that Haskins needs a situation where he can learn first, being groomed to start at a later date.
“Again, it’s not going to be something where you bring him to go ‘okay we need him as a backup right now,'” Simms said. “No you bring him in to be, ‘hey he’s a third-stringer that we think maybe by the end of the 2021 season could be the backup and maybe by 2022 or 2023 can be our starting quarterback.”
With Haskins clearing waivers and officially becoming a free agent Tuesday, he should come cheap if the Steelers were to pursue him this offseason. An opportunity Florio says is to good to pass up.
“If you can get this guy for peanuts and you can get him into your building and you can develop him to be the successor to Ben Roethlisberger, who they may need as soon as next year based upon how Roethlisberger has looked this year, you may be onto something there,” Florio said.
Simms and Florio are not the only ones considering the Steelers’ future at quarterback long term, as an anonymous team executive apparently told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Steelers should pursue New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
Selected with the 15th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Haskins was shaky over two seasons in Washington. He threw for 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, while completing just over 60% of his passes.
Haskins was excellent in his final year as a Buckeyes, completing 70% of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.
While his career is off to a rocky start, Haskins is only 23-years old with plenty of untapped potential.
The 38-year-old Roethlisberger, on the other hand, is in the twilight of his career 17 seasons in. The two-time Super Bowl champ has one year remaining on his current contract, which will produce a $41.25 million cap hit in 2021.
Regardless of the team’s plan and how their 2020 season ends, the Steelers would be wise to consider their quarterback plans post-Roethlisberger sooner rather than later.
SN’s Mike Asti on Sports Central: Changes Happening for Steelers, Future in Doubt
When your seasons ends the way the Pittsburgh Steelers season ended, there are going to be changes, in fact some may even argue it be would be insane to not make changes.
Steelers Now’s Mike Asti appeared on the Sports Central Show with Cory Giger to discuss recent news concerning the coaching staff and how different the Steelers will look during the 2021 season.
Cory even responds to Mike’s latest show of his own about the Mike Tomlin-Ben Roethlisberger era and what the not too distant future may be like for one of the NFL’s marquee franchises.
“Sports Central” airs daily on WRTA 98.5 and 1240 AM.
Report: Lions Expected to Hire Rams Exec Brad Holmes, Ending Kevin Colbert Speculation
he Detroit Lions are expected to hire Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes as their next general manager, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN, effectively ending speculation that the organization was pursuing Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert for the role.
Lions expected to hire Los Angeles Rams' director of college scouting Brad Holmes as their new general manager, per source. They are finalizing a multi-year deal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2021
Colbert had been linked to the Lions for weeks, with multiple reports claiming the organization was infatuated with the Steelers general manager and actively courting him for their vacancy.
Those rumblings culminated Wednesday when Mike Stone of 97.1-FM The Ticket in Detroit reported Colbert and the Lions were close to a deal.
Ensuing reporting by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac contradicted Stone’s claim, saying the Lions had never reached out to the Steelers with an official interview request.
Just a day later, it appears Detroit has found their man in Holmes, and Colbert will remain in Pittsburgh. His current one-year contract runs through April’s draft.
According to ESPN, the Lions and Holmes, 41, have agreed to a five-year deal to make him the franchise’s new general manager.
Holmes’ hiring also means the Rams will be the first organization to be beneficiaries of the NFL’s new hiring initiatives for developing minority general manager and coaching candidates.
Los Angeles will receive a pair of compensatory third-round draft picks for developing Holmes, who began with the Rams as a public relations intern in 2003 and spent his entire career with the franchise.
Lions get the general manager they wanted…and the Rams now will become the first team to receive two third-round compensatory draft picks as part of the NFL's new hiring initiatives. https://t.co/BTk1zsjRne— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2021
Panthers Narrow GM Search, Steelers’ Omar Khan Left Out
The Carolina Panthers have narrowed their general manager search down to four candidates, and Pittsburgh Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan was not one of them.
Khan had been one of 15 individuals interviewed virtually for the position, but was not one of the final four the Panthers announced Wednesday as having been selected for a second round of in-person interviews.
Khan was considered a favorite for the vacancy given his familiarity with Panthers owner David Tepper, who was previously a Steelers minority owner.
Carolina was Khan’s second interview this hiring cycle, having also spoken with the Houston Texans for their opening last week. They ultimately hired former New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio as their new general manager.
Khan has been a coveted candidate of late, also interviewing with the Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks in recent years.
Khan has been with the Steelers organization since 2001, and has served in his current role as vice president of football and business administration since 2016.
Known for his salary cap wizardry, Khan also previously served as the organization’s director of football administration (2011-16) and football administration coordinator (2001-2011).
Carolina’s search has now been narrowed down to Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters, Kansas City Chiefs assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles and Seattle Seahawks vice president of football operations Scott Fitterer. All conducted in-person interviews Tuesday or Wednesday.
A hiring decision from Carolina is expected later this week.