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Dennis Dixon unsigned with Steelers, wants a chance to start

Image (2) steelers-dennis-dixon-2jpg-5bde00229dffcded_large-thumb-250x200-18267.jpg for post 80705 AP

Quarterback Dennis Dixon isn’t in camp with the Steelers and doesn’t want to sign his one-year tender offer as a restricted free agent because he wants to go to a team that will give him a chance to start.

The Steelers put a fifth-round tender on Dixon, which means that he’s free to sign with another team, and if he does the Steelers would have the right to match the offer or get that team’s fifth-round pick in next year’s draft. But so far, no team has signed Dixon to an offer sheet.

Dixon could sign the tender and report to the Steelers, but Dixon’s agent, Jeff Sperbeck, says he doesn’t want to do that. Dixon wants to be with a team that will let him compete for playing time, and in Pittsburgh, he has no chance of unseating Ben Roethlisberger.

“Dennis would love the opportunity to start,” Sperbeck told ESPN.com. “Yes, we would look forward to an opportunity for a trade — it’s a starting opportunity we’re looking for.”

Dixon started the first two games of last season when Roethlisberger was suspended, so teams around the league have seen what he can do. He’s still raw as a passer, but he’s a talented athlete, and it’s a little surprising that no team thinks he’s worth a fifth-round pick.

But given that no team does think Dixon is worth a fifth-round pick, he’d probably be better off signing the tender and getting back to work. It’s better for a developing young player to be in training camp as a backup than not in camp at all.

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56 Responses to “Dennis Dixon unsigned with Steelers, wants a chance to start”
  1. quizguy66 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:23 PM

    Um, he wants a chance to start? Does he realize the UFL is in suspended animation right now?

    -QG

  2. meatfish66 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:23 PM

    quick! someone get the seahawks on the phone

  3. trbowman says: Jul 31, 2011 2:25 PM

    Can’t fault him for wanting to start.

  4. robinyount19 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:25 PM

    I want to be a starting NFL QB too, and I won’t cost a 5th round pick.

  5. oldbrowndawg says: Jul 31, 2011 2:27 PM

    Looks like Dixon and Limas Sweed have shown that even the mightly Steelers can screw up the draft, now doesn’t it?

  6. terrellblowens says: Jul 31, 2011 2:27 PM

    His arm looks like a stick! Never seen a QB’s arm look like that haha

  7. canetic says: Jul 31, 2011 2:29 PM

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Good one, D.D.

  8. jo3jo says: Jul 31, 2011 2:30 PM

    The guy has some potential, but this notion of needing to be traded someplace where you have a chance to start only works if the league regards you as a rising star. This is a league where Vince Young is apparently regarded as a backup, so I wouldn’t hold your breath.

  9. daburgher says: Jul 31, 2011 2:31 PM

    Id like to see him back in the burgh as he is a solid backup but I wish him the best of luck for whatever he decides to do.. he’s a good kid and could definitely help a lot of teams out.

  10. laxer37 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:31 PM

    Dixon needs to keep in mind that NFL backup QB is the best job on earth.

    Be patient, keep working, accept your role, and don’t get greedy.

  11. raider13pdx says: Jul 31, 2011 2:33 PM

    Oakland please give him a call. He’d be a perfect fit with the Raiders. Especially with Al Saunders and Hue Jackson coaching him up. Can’t start but Jason Campbells contract is up next year. Learn the offense in a year and compete for the starting spot next year. Dixon is by far an upgrade over Kyle Boller, and Trent Edwards. Come on Al bring the hometown kid back to Oakland. He’s a diamond in the rough. Especially with the Raiders O-Line he can run from anybody.

  12. thesarcasm says: Jul 31, 2011 2:35 PM

    Good luck with that.

  13. mallet22 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:35 PM

    Dixon as a starter ?? IALTO !!

  14. sportsinhd says: Jul 31, 2011 2:36 PM

    Dixon is a unique talent, but he’s not currently in a position to unseat anybody, especially with the short training camps.

    I think the Steelers would like to keep him as their primary back up for the next couple of years, but he’s now made that an impossibility. Batch is old and on his way to the coaching staff. Byron is injury prone, but at least he know’s his role, and seems happy with that Super Bowl ring. The way Big Ben holds onto the ball you know he’s going to miss some games, you might as well be his primary back up and then impress some people with a three or four game stretch as a starter.

  15. firejimcadwell says: Jul 31, 2011 2:36 PM

    Sure Dennis… Whatever

  16. myvickinabox14 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:36 PM

    Give him a chance. Go Ducks!!!

  17. phillymagic50 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:37 PM

    Hey Dolphins this is opportunity knocking…..AGAIN.

  18. david7590 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:38 PM

    Go to the Lions, you can start in week 2 after Stafford’s shoulder goes out again.

  19. longsnappers4mvp says: Jul 31, 2011 2:39 PM

    I wanna start too

  20. jasnite says: Jul 31, 2011 2:42 PM

    If another team thought he was starter material, he would have been signed by now. Chalk this one up to his stupid agent for not talking any since into him. He needs a reality check.

    Starter? Really?

  21. benh999 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:44 PM

    I’d like to be a starting NFL QB too. Guess what? It’s not going to happen for either of us.

  22. godofwine330 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:44 PM

    Don’t be stupid, Dennis. Sign the damned tender. You had your chance last year, but you didn’t really do all that well AND you got hurt. If you would have played balls out last year while Big Ben was out and not gotten hurt yourself then you would have had a chance. But you didn’t. Now, sign the tender, play hard through pre-season and HOPEFULLY some team will need a QB next year. But this year every team has a starting QB at this point. Wait until next year. It won’t be too late.

  23. flagstaffphotos says: Jul 31, 2011 2:44 PM

    Memo to Dixon – if you get injured and replaced by Charlie Batch, and Batch clearly outplays you like he did last season – you shouldn’t be demanding starting time from anyone.

  24. jmbresky says: Jul 31, 2011 2:46 PM

    Please Miami, take a chance on this guy and see what happens. Maybe he can compete with Henne and Moore. Maybe he can inject some more life into the offense with his big play ability. There really is not any other decent options out there.

  25. irishfan109 says: Jul 31, 2011 2:47 PM

    I would love for the Raiders to sign him to an offer sheet. He’s worth a 5th round pick. Plus, some serious competition may give Campbell the kick start he needs to take his game to another level. If not, Dixon has shown some promise and we could have a starting QB at the cost of a 5th round pick.

    Come on, Al.

  26. andyreidisfat says: Jul 31, 2011 2:52 PM

    Dixon can play and start. In the UFL.

  27. sweetnlow44 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:00 PM

    What qb in the nfl says “I want to go to a team where I know I won’t be able to start”?

    Oh yeah…Vince Young, my bad.

  28. rakattack77 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:04 PM

    could be a great pickup for skins… his mobility and athleticism would fit well in shanahan’s scheme… great competition for beck and definitely worth a 5th rounder

  29. steelerfan9598 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:05 PM

    Yeah, oldbrowndawg, the Steelers really screwed that one up, ‘wasting’ a fifth round pick on a guy who could start for the Browns TOMORROW. Tim Couch – Bust, Derek Anderson – Bust, Charlie Frye – Bust, Brady Quinn – Bust. Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are better than any QB the ‘new’ Browns have had. Sweed sucks but, so does your franchise.

  30. jasnite says: Jul 31, 2011 3:06 PM

    LOL@sweetnlow….

  31. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jul 31, 2011 3:06 PM

    Hey if Tavaris Jackson and Kevin Kolb can get a starting job anything is possible.

    But, I would wait a year until he’s a free agent. I think teams like the Seahawks and 49ers will realize what a horrible decision they made at QB and come calling.

  32. daburgher says: Jul 31, 2011 3:08 PM

    oldbrowndawg says:
    Jul 31, 2011 2:27 PM
    Looks like Dixon and Limas Sweed have shown that even the mightly Steelers can screw up the draft, now doesn’t it?

    uh yeah Limas never panned out but we picked up Dixon in the 5th round and he became a solid back up.. I would hardly call that screwing up. Have fun in cleveland dumba$$

  33. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jul 31, 2011 3:08 PM

    It might be kind of hard for him to see the field too because Byron Leftwich is still on the team. So it isn’t guaranteed that he is the backup here in Pittsburgh. So I understand where he’s coming from. He should be at least a solid number #2 somewhere else.

  34. 3octaveFart says: Jul 31, 2011 3:21 PM

    oldbrowndawg says:
    Jul 31, 2011 2:27 PM
    “Looks like Dixon and Limas Sweed have shown that even the mightly Steelers can screw up the draft, now doesn’t it?”

    Sweed maybe, but Dixon might well be a better QB than your starter…

  35. ravenator says: Jul 31, 2011 3:21 PM

    This locker room is falling apart.

  36. d3murf says: Jul 31, 2011 3:27 PM

    Dennis is better than you guys are giving him credit for at this stage of his career. He started against my Falcons in the Season Opener last year. and went 18-26 w/ 236 yds. He threw 1 pick but it was kind of in the middle of the field and the Falcons didn’t do anything with it. The Steelers actually won the game against a team that went 13-3. He looked great–he can extend the play really well and is always looking to throw downfield on the run. He’s really accurate too. 68.8% last season. Him saying he wants a chance to “Compete” to start is a Great thing. Why are you guys giving him grief for wanting to compete???

  37. Deb says: Jul 31, 2011 3:30 PM

    If Dennis wants to start, he should consider converting to another position. He might succeed in a slash-type role. He’s a good athlete, but he doesn’t have the skills to be a starting QB in the NFL. Sorry.

  38. thegonz13 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:35 PM

    “Dennis, this is Dan Snyder. I got a seven-year, $70 million dollar contract for you!”

  39. wryly1 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:39 PM

    Any player in the NFL who doesn’t want to be a starter – and isn’t striving to become a starter, probably doesn’t belong in the NFL

  40. ezwriter69 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:48 PM

    All this hate for a guy who just wants to play football.. y’all would really respect him more if he was content to draw a check for holding a clipboard? That says a whole lot more about you fatbellied green-eyed wanna-be sneering posing know-it-all-but-never-played-a-down haters sitting in your recliners than it does about Dixon…

  41. blackngold4life says: Jul 31, 2011 3:48 PM

    A chance to start? Where? Dennis must be out his mind.. “C’mon mann” sign ya contract n get to camp before you on nobodys team

  42. dumbaseinstien says: Jul 31, 2011 3:53 PM

    He’s tallented enough & he realizes he’s not a “Big Ben”…so there in lies the problem. He wants to start but he isn’t as good as a starter…so, you do the math.

  43. cappa662 says: Jul 31, 2011 3:55 PM

    Dixon isn’t even a backup nfl qb. He’s not going to start anywhere… unless the backup gets hurt. He should be just happy to collect an nfl paycheck.

  44. wizahdry says: Jul 31, 2011 3:59 PM

    This guy is not going to start anywhere. Sign the offer sheet and be thankful you even have a job. There a bunch of undrafted rookies and FA vets that would take his gig in a second.

  45. firejimcadwell says: Jul 31, 2011 4:00 PM

    dixon is clueless.

  46. oldbyrd says: Jul 31, 2011 4:10 PM

    Nice try Dixon……..

  47. zinn22 says: Jul 31, 2011 4:33 PM

    He could have some value with the Jets as 2nd QB and a wildcat QB.

    He certainly could not be worse than Sanchez. Although initially he could take Brad Smith’s role as the wildcat QB and would be an upgrade over Brunell as backup and eventually take Sanchez’s job by default if Sanchez has another terrible year.

  48. laxer37 says: Jul 31, 2011 4:45 PM

    @oldbrowndawg:

    Dixon was drafted by the Steelers in the 5th round back in ’08 to be Big Ben’s backup. He has been in that role for 3 years. Not sure how you think this is an example of the Steelers “screwing up the draft”.

    You must be a bitter Browns fan.

  49. dd393 says: Jul 31, 2011 4:47 PM

    He could sign with the Eagles. They’ve been signing everybody else. With their offensive line, he’ll get a chance to start sooner rather than later.

  50. beeroncos says: Jul 31, 2011 5:02 PM

    He was pretty damn good in college before blowing his knee out against AZ. He was projected as a 1st round pick. It will be difficult to find a starting job though with the current landscape.

  51. ocgunslinger says: Jul 31, 2011 5:04 PM

    So what is wrong with being the solid backup for a perennial contending team? Actually the perfect job when you think about it and you have a chance to be the savior when the starter goes down. A key and valuable position on any team.

  52. Deb says: Jul 31, 2011 5:42 PM

    @d3murf …

    I’m not giving Dixon grief for wanting to compete–that’s admirable. But he doesn’t have the goods. He may have great physicality, but he doesn’t have the reads and the improvisational ability he needs to be an NFL QB.

    He’s been with the Steelers since 2008 and still hasn’t been able to learn the playbook. He only started against your Falcons because of the injury to Leftwich. Last season, Steelers fans were clamoring for him to start, but Tomlin and Arians (our OC) were adamant that no matter how much they worked with him, he did not look downfield for the open man. Dennis’s big problem is his spread-offense mindset. He takes one read and runs, leaving open receivers downfield. Forget about learning curves. He’s going into his fourth season. If he hasn’t got a handle on it by now, he won’t.

    It’s not personal and I wish him all the best. But if he thinks he can do better in the NFL, I’d suggest he call Pat White.

  53. qdog112 says: Jul 31, 2011 5:56 PM

    Dixon is a top 20 QB today. You can’t blame him for wanting an opportunity, especially seeing the interest in people like Kolb, Orton, Smith, Tebow, Ponder, Locker, etc.

  54. george3246 says: Aug 1, 2011 12:17 AM

    Wow, Deb, you hit the nail on the head twice.

    When I first saw DD playing for Oregon, I hoped that the B&G would draft him with open possibilities. That is, if he was willing to work as a QB turned receiver, as per Brad Smith.

    DD has excellent speed and elusiveness in the open field but would need to bulk up before taking hits over the middle. If Limas Sweed never finds his way, DD can become that tall receiver Ben has asked for and still be a backup QB.

    The OC can contrive a few trick plays, ie.. Randle El, that could give DD more game minutes. But if he does not have any chance of starting unless BB goes down, why wouldn’t he offer his service and body for the team as a Slash remake?

    Deb, your observation of DD’s failure to make the reads necessary to be NFL QB is right on.

  55. george3246 says: Aug 1, 2011 12:28 AM

    Wow, Deb, you hit the nail on the head twice.

    When I first saw DD playing for Oregon, I hoped that the B&G would draft him with open possibilities. That is, if he was willing to work as a QB turned receiver, as per Brad Smith.

    DD has excellent speed and elusiveness in the open field but would need to bulk up before taking hits over the middle. If Limas Sweed never finds his way, DD can become that tall receiver Ben has asked for and still be a backup QB.

    The OC can contrive a few trick plays, ie.. Randle El, that could give DD more game minutes. But if he does not have any chance of starting unless BB goes down, why wouldn’t he offer his service and body for the team as a Slash remake?

    Deb, your observation of DD’s failure to make the necessary reads to be starting QB is right on. Many outstanding NFL prospects at this key position stop their progression because they are not smart or ambitious enough learn the playbook and all of its intricacies.

    When DD proves his dominance of b&g’s opponents ther team’s various defenses

  56. axespray says: Aug 1, 2011 7:17 AM

    terrellblowens says:Jul 31, 2011 2:27 PM
    “His arm looks like a stick! Never seen a QB’s arm look like that haha”

    Pretty sure Randall Cunningham had a pretty good career.

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