Paxton Lynch Signs Steelers Contract After Ben Roethlisberger's Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2019

Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) warms up prior to a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Tuesday they have signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch to their practice squad.

The Steelers sought additional depth behind new starter Mason Rudolph and rookie Devlin Hodges after losing starting QB Ben Roethlisberger to season-ending elbow surgery.

Lynch was a first-round pick of the Broncos in the 2016 NFL draft. He'd enjoyed a strong junior campaign with the Memphis Tigers with 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 66.8 percent of his throws for 3,776 yards, and he opted to skip his senior season.

The 25-year-old San Antonio native couldn't replicate that type of performance for Denver.

He completed 61.7 percent for 792 yards with four touchdowns and four picks in five appearances across two seasons with the Broncos. He was released before the start of the 2018 season.

Lynch signed with the Seattle Seahawks in January but was released in August after connecting on 18 of his 37 preseason throws (48.6 percent) with one TD and no interceptions.

"Things didn't go as planned in Denver, but looking back over my football career, it's never been a perfect fit or a takeoff from the beginning," he told Evan Barnes of the Commercial Appeal in July. "This just is what it is at this point, so I'm not letting it keep me down or pull me in one direction."

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Hodges is a developmental project after going undrafted in April. He posted a lackluster 73.4 passer rating on 38 attempts against mostly second- and third-string defenses in the preseason.

Lynch could leapfrog him into the backup role with strong practice performances.