Steelers 2-a-days: Josh Dobbs fights to hang on to No. 2 QB job, Bud Dupree in contract year
Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2019 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly-alphabetical order, (at least) two per day, between June 14 and July 26.
QB JOSH DOBBS
Experience: 3rd season
Contract status: $784,781 cap hit in 2019, signed through 2020
2019 outlook: In what was viewed as an upset by some, Dobbs won the top backup job to Ben Roethlisberger last summer, beating out not only highly-regarded then-rookie Mason Rudolph but also the longtime holder of that role, Landry Jones. Jones is now gone, but can Dobbs hold off Rudolph during another training-camp competition?
This time, Dobbs won’t have the advantage of experience in the system and at the NFL level. Dobbs was adequate in limited action last season, which is all that can be asked of a backup quarterback. The Steelers have regularly kept three quarterbacks in recent seasons, and if that’s the case again in 2019 the No. 2 job will be won on merit alone.
Still, the longer-term question about who is first in line to be Roethlisberger’s successor – if it’s either Dobbs or Rudolph at all – will linger on. Roethlisberger is signed through 2021, a year after Dobbs’ contract expires.
As a recipient of an aerospace engineering degree, Joshua Dobbs is all-too-familiar with Newton’s third law of motion.
— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) May 30, 2019
OLB BUD DUPREE
Experience: 5th season
Contract status: $9.23 million cap hit in 2019, after which he’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent
2019 outlook: Even if he apparently wasn’t fully aware of it, Dupree’s hefty salary for 2019 was not fully guaranteed until the spring. Will his play be commensurate with that cap hit? Does it matter? The simple truth is that with few alternatives, it wasn’t worth it to the Steelers to let Dupree go.
Still only 26 years old, Dupree yet might have his best seasons ahead of him. Or, perhaps he is what he is – which isn’t all that bad. The sack numbers (20 in four seasons) aren’t impressive – and being viewed through the lens of a first-round pick isn’t flattering. But Dupree has been solid in the all-around game.
The bigger question is if he can earn an extension out of the Steelers. It seems as if the team is content to take a wait-and-see approach, feeling comfortable risking losing Dupree after the season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. But don’t completely dismiss the chances Dupree is back in 2020, either. How he plays in 2019 could help determine the chances of that.
Bud Dupree just killed Matt Moore pic.twitter.com/wVgwX63Vwm
— Carlton (@SlopingGiraffe) January 8, 2017
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .