The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed former Baltimore Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith to a futures contract, according to Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner, was selected in the fifth-round of the 2007 draft by the Ravens and was released by the team before the start of the 2010 regular season.
This is an interesting move by the Steelers, but not likely a significant one. Although the Steelers’ quarterback group could get a facelift, Smith would be fighting for the No. 3 job.
Pittsburgh’s two backups this season, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon, are both free agents. Dixon is likely to go elsewhere, and the 37-year-old Batch might not return.
Byron Leftwich, who broke his arm in the preseason, costing him the entire regular season on injured reserve, is expected to re-sign and become the primary backup for Ben Roethlisberger.
That’s why Smith’s best chance of staying with the Steelers is winning the team’s third-string job. In four career seasons, Smith has thrown for 1,734 yards while completing 51.7 percent of his passes for the Ravens from 2007-09 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.
Ironically, one of Smith’s eight starts came against the Steelers in the Ravens’ 2007 regular-season finale, and the diminutive quarterback led Baltimore to a 27-21 win, completing 16 of 27 passes for 171 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.