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Steelers sign former Washington QB and first-round pick Dwayne Haskins to a one-year deal

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Dwayne Haskins, less than a month after being released by Washington, has signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced on Thursday. Haskins, who had previously visited with the Carolina Panthers, signed with the Steelers after reportedly having lunch with Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin. 

Shortly after the news broke, Haskins posted images of himself signing his new contract. Haskins also revealed that he will wear No. 3 after wearing No. 7 in Washington. 

The 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Haskins was released following a subpar performance in Washington’s Week 16 loss to the Panthers. Haskins’ highly-publicized violation of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols also contributed to his release. After being released, Haskins described what he called the “worst week of his life” during an interview with WUSA9’s Darren Haynes

“Gotta be accountable for the decisions you make in life, and be able to move forward and make the best decisions,” Haskins said. “I have no doubt in my mind that I can overcome this, grow and become a better person, a better athlete, a better quarterback and a better leader because of this. That’s something I’m praying and working on to show. I’m hoping that a new change in scenery will help with that.”

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In two seasons in Washington, Haskins went just 3-10 as a starter. He completed 60.1% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In 2020, the former first-round pick won just one of his six starts while throwing more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (five). And while Haskins and fellow backup Kyle Allen went a combined 2-8 as Washington’s starting quarterbacks, veteran Alex Smith, the likely Comeback Player of the Year, went 5-1 under center while leading the Football Team to an NFC East division title. 

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While some of Haskins’ struggles have been his doing, the fact that he has had to play for three different coaches and two different coordinators likely contributed to his lack of success. Haskins also had to play behind an offensive line that allowed 50 sacks to Washington’s quarterbacks in each of the past two seasons. 

Haskins did have some bright moments during his time in Washington. In his sixth career start, Haskins threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns (while completing nearly 68% of his passes) in Washington’s 37-27 loss to Philadelphia. In Week 4 of the 2020 season, Haskins threw for 314 yards while completing over 71% of his throws in Washington’s 31-17 loss to the Ravens

A former college standout at Ohio State, Haskins flourished in Urban Meyer’s quick-passing offense. That offense is similar to the one the Steelers ran in 2020. Pittsburgh’s new passing philosophy was one of the main reasons for its 11-0 start to the season. Dropped passes, injuries, and a lack of a running game ultimately led to the Steelers’ winning just one of their final six games. 

In Pittsburgh, Haskins will join a quarterback room that currently includes Mason Rudolph and Ben Roethlisberger. Haskins will likely replace Joshua Dobbs, who served as Pittsburgh’s No. 3 quarterback in 2020. Dobbs is slated to become a free agent this offseason. Roethlisberger, despite being non-committal on his status for the 2021 season, is expected to return for what would be his 18th season under center in Pittsburgh. 

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