- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 21, 2021

Dwayne Haskins has a new home.

The former Washington quarterback signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, joining one of the league’s premier franchises as the 23-year-old looks to revitalize his career. 

Washington, of course, cut Haskins late last month after he was benched in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Carolina Panthers. The release also was following off-the-field turmoil in which Haskins was caught partying indoors without a mask a week earlier. 

But now, Haskins gets a second chance — something the 2019 first-rounder desperately wanted. Upon being released, Haskins vowed to become a better person and learn from his mistakes. Washington coach Ron Rivera said he made the decision to move on from Haskins because it was in the best interest for both sides, suggesting a fresh start could be what Haskins needed.

When drafted 15th overall, Haskins was painted as the savior of the franchise — the local kid coming home. Haskins, who played high school football in Maryland and went to the same school as owner Dan Snyder’s son, shattered records at Ohio State and brimmed with confidence. 

But Haskins’ tenure with Washington was rocky from the start. Coaches and scouts were adamant against drafting the quarterback, only for Snyder to do it anyway. That set the stage for a tumultuous period that featured plenty of controversies. Haskins, for instance, missed the final snap of his first win as he was too busy taking a selfie with a fan during his rookie year. 

More so, Haskins struggled on the field. In 16 games, he went 3-10 as a starter and threw more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (12). Rivera benched him after just four games into Haskins’ second season and the relationship never recovered, even as the quarterback got another opportunity to play with an injury to Alex Smith.

By signing with Pittsburgh, Haskins gets a chance to learn from a well-regarded coach in Mike Tomlin and a future Hall of Famer in starter Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger turns 39 in March, though is reportedly leaning on returning for an 18th season. Haskins also joins a crowded quarterback room with Mason Rudolph and Delvin Hodges, though the latter’s contract is set to expire in March. 

According to multiple reports, Haskins visited Pittsburgh’s facility on Thursday. The meeting marked the second-known visit for Haskins as the Carolina Panthers also explored signing the former Washington starter. 

On Twitter, Haskins tweeted a picture of himself signing the contract and indicated that he’ll wear No. 3 in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger wears No. 7, Haskins’ old number. 

“3 in the Bible stands for restoration and eternal life,” Haskins tweeted. “Let’s work”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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