Browns Waive Ex-Steelers QB, ‘Total Class Act’ to Make Room for Deshaun Watson

Josh Dobbs with Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett

(Nick Cammett/Getty Images Josh Dobbs #15, Deshaun Watson #4 and Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Cleveland Browns.

On Monday Nov. 28 Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was added to the team’s 53-man roster, having served his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. To make room for Watson, the Browns waived ex-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs, who had been with the Browns since early April, having signed with Cleveland just three days after the former 4th-round pick had a tryout with the Baltimore Ravens.

NFL Twitter Reacts to Josh Dobbs Losing His Job

Predictably, NFL Twitter had some strong reactions to the move, with one interested observer writing: “It’s quite ironic that Josh Dobbs, a total class-act and one of the most genuine guys in the league, is the one that gets cut to make room for Watson.”

Another Browns fan wrote that Josh Dobbs getting waived “hurts his soul.”

Never mind that Dobbs didn’t see any action this season. By all accounts, Dobbs acquitted himself well on and off the field in Cleveland, winning the backup quarterback job behind Jacoby Brissett at the outset of the regular-season. Now the Browns are moving forward with Watson as the starter and Brissett as QB2. Meanwhile, former Minnesota Vikings third-round pick Kellen Mond (No. 66 overall in 2021) remains the third-stringer, having been claimed on waivers from the Vikings at the end of August.

According to longtime Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns would like to re-sign Dobbs to the practice squad, assuming he clears waivers.

Josh Dobbs is Well-Positioned to Launch a 2nd Career

If Dobbs fails to catch on with another team, he has already laid the groundwork for a remarkable second career. Dobbs has become famous for successfully pursuing two especially challenging endeavors at the same time — playing quarterback and studying aerospace engineering — both of which he did at the University of Tennessee from 2013-16. Since getting selected No. 135 overall in the 2017 draft he has completed a pair of externships at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center — hence his nickname, “The Passtronaut.”

Less well-known is that he has long worked to raise awareness about Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that Dobbs has suffered from since third grade. That explains why Dobbs had a message for the world after Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss at the 2022 Oscars, which prompted Will Smith to smack Rock across the face.

As for his Steelers career, Dobbs appeared in six regular-season games during the four years he spent in Pittsburgh, having served as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup in 2018. In the course of those half-dozen appearances he completed 10 of 17 passes for 45 yards with one interception, as per Pro Football Reference.

In 2019, the Steelers traded Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 5th-round pick after the organization decided that Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges could function as the team’s 3rd-string quarterback.

Pittsburgh got him back a year later, re-signing him in Sept. 2020 just days after he was released by the Jaguars. Dobbs spent all of the 2021 season on Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list after suffering a turf toe-type injury in the preseason.