Steelers Rumors: Dwayne Haskins to Be Given RFA Tender Contract Worth Roughly $2.5M

Adam WellsJanuary 23, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The Pittsburgh Steelers are taking steps to ensure Dwayne Haskins remains on their roster for next season. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers "have indicated" to Haskins they will place the restricted free-agent tender worth around $2.5 million on him. 

ESPN's Dan Graziano added the move would mean any team interested in Haskins would have to give the Steelers a first-round pick if he signed elsewhere. 

Haskins spent the first two seasons of his career with the Washington Football Team. He was originally the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft out of Ohio State. 

The 24-year-old appeared in 16 games for the Football Team, but he never established himself as a viable starter. He threw for 2,804 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and had a 3-10 record in 13 starts. 

Washington released Haskins after a Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers during the 2020 season. Head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement (via ESPN's John Keim) he told Haskins "I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways."

In a since-deleted tweet (via Keim), Haskins said he took "full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB & will become a better man & player because of this experience."

Haskins was benched in the Panthers game for Taylor Heinicke, who at that point hadn't appeared in an NFL game since 2018. 

The Steelers signed Haskins to a one-year contract in January 2021. He made the team's 53-man roster coming out of preseason but never appeared in a game during the regular season. 

Ben Roethlisberger hasn't officially announced his plans as he prepares for free agency or possibly retirement, but it's widely expected the Steelers will have a new starting quarterback in 2022. 

Haskins and Mason Rudolph were the other quarterbacks on Pittsburgh's roster this season. Given how young Haskins is and how recently he was a first-round pick, it's worth the risk for the Steelers to see if they can mold his talent into being a viable NFL player.