For the record, Dennis Dixon never asked the Steelers to trade him, nor will he.
That doesn’t mean Dixon wouldn’t welcome a trade with open arms.
“It’s not that I don’t want to (be traded), but I’ve never (asked for) a trade before,” Dixon said.
Dixon wants to have a shot to compete for a starting quarterback spot, but knows that there is no opportunity in his current situation as the Steelers’ No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger.
So the former Oregon star, who was the Steelers’ fifth-round choice in 2008, has two choices – get traded or play out the season and test the free agency market next year.
Dixon was a restricted free agent this year and the Steelers slapped a modest fifth-round tender on him before the lockout. After shopping himself around the league for a week, Dixon decided to sign the tender to return to the Steelers for a little more than a $1 million.
“It is kind of tough to say right now,” Dixon said when asked if he wants to be traded. “As long as I have a job, I am happy. I love Pittsburgh to death, but if anything else comes my way, I will be happy as well.”
It’s obvious that Dixon wants out of Pittsburgh, and how can you blame him?
He really has no chance to become a starter with the Steelers, and even has as little a chance of being the backup with Byron Leftwich seemingly entrenched into that spot.
Dixon has all the talent in the world but nowhere to show it.
He looked good, albeit in a scaled-back look against Atlanta when he threw for 236 yards in last year’s opener.
But that, and a couple of preseason games, is all we have to base Dixon’s abilities on — not nearly enough for any team to offer the Steelers anything other than a 6th- or 7th-round pick.
What we do know is that Dixon is young (26), he has a boatload of talent and he wants to start.
Two of those things are perfect for the Steelers, except for the latter.
“Whether it is No. 2 or No. 1, you want to play,” Dixon said. “At the end of the day, I can’t control that. All I can do is do what I can do. The reps that I get, I have to take seriously.”
Enter Friday’s first preseason game against the Redskins.
Of course, Roethlisberger isn’t going to see much time as well as the veterans of Leftwich and Charlie Batch.
Friday’s going to be a time that Dixon needs to shine … actually, this entire preseason is a time that he has to shine if he wants to have any future in this league.
Dixon, more than any of the 89 players on the roster, is auditioning for a job league-wide.
“Not only 31 teams but just my teammates in general,” Dixon said. “Just to show them that I am here and we will get things done if my number is called.”
Whether he is traded or not this year doesn’t matter because this will be the final year for Dixon as a Steeler.
That’s for certain.
He will be an unrestricted free agent next year and is surely will find a better opportunity somewhere else in the league.
“I will talk to my agent in depth when that time comes,” Dixon said. “The business side of things can take its toll some times and if that’s the way it goes, then that’s the way it goes.”
– By Mark Kaboly