It's been a few days since we discussed the potential future of a Steelers player whose contract expired after the 2010 season. Free Agency is officially on hold as of last week while a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated. So we won't hear any more news on the free agency front until a new CBA is ultimately reached. But that doesn't mean we can't do our best to speculate about what might happen with certain players. So let's do just that with reserve quarterback Dennis Dixon, who the Steelers tendered last week.
2010 salary: $470,000
The back story: 2010 was supposed to be Dennis Dixon's time to shine. With Ben Roethlisberger suspended for the first four games of the year, Dixon hoped to cement his status as a viable starting candidate option in the National Football League. He was ultimately named the starter over veteran Byron Leftwich at the end of last summer's training camp, but a knee injury early in the Steelers' Week 2 game against the Titans derailed his season and any hopes he had of being a starting quarterback somewhere in 2011.
With just three years of service under his belt, Dixon almost assuredly will still be a restricted free agent under the provisions of a new CBA. The Steelers offered an existing round tender to Dixon last week. Will another team be willing to surrender a low draft pick to acquire Dixon? Not likely because of the injury he suffered and his subsequent inability to prove himself last year. But stranger things have happened I suppose.
What I'd Do: You can't figure that the Steelers will face the same sort of unique circumstances at the QB position in 2011, which makes the choice of who to keep behind Roethlisberger a bit tricky. Do you roll with Byron Leftwich who has a year left on his contract, and then have Charlie Batch serve as the emergency No. 3 option? Do you have Leftwich and Dixon battle it out for the backup spot and cut the loser of the camp competition? Surely you don't keep all four around, but is there a way to keep Batch in the fold without designating any sort of spot for him officially unless he's needed?
Basically, I don't know if I have an opinion just yet on how the Steelers should handle the back up QB duties next year. What about you? Thoughts?