Pittsburgh Steelers
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Darnell Washington
Darnell Washington Could see more opportunities
Thu, May 30, 2024, 11:12 AM
In his second season as a pro, Washington believes that there's a "strong possibility" he can emerge as more of a receiving threat, Mike DeFabo of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: In 17 regular-season contests as a rookie last season, Washington caught just seven of his 10 targets for 61 yards, but with new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on board, the 2023 third-rounder is a candidate to see more pass-catching opportunities in what figures to be a more tight-end friendly offense in Pittsburgh. At 6-foot-7, 264 pounds, Washington has the size to continue to make his mark as a run blocker, but the Georgia product has some untapped potential as a receiver and should have an opportunity to demonstrate that more in 2024, while working behind top option Pat Freiermuth in a TE corps that also includes Connor Heyward and MyCole Pruitt.
Calvin Austin
Calvin Austin Set to compete for WR slotting
Thu, May 30, 2024, 10:47 AM
As the coming season approaches, Austin is in line to compete with several newcomers for depth chart slotting behind top wideout George Pickens, Chris Ward of Steelersnow.com reports.
Analysis: In the wake of the offseason departures of Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson, the Steelers added Van Jefferson, Quez Watkins and Scott Miller via free agency and used a third-round draft pick on Roman Wilson. Austin, who was taken in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, is coming off a 2023 regular season in which he caught 17 of his 30 targets for 180 yards and a TD while rushing 11 times for 57 yards and a TD in 17 games. In his third season as a pro, the speedy 5-foot-9, 162-pounder has an opportunity to carve out an increased role in Pittsburgh's offense under new coordinator Arthur Smith.
La'Mical Perine
La'Mical Perine Inks deal with Pittsburgh
Thu, May 23, 2024, 6:28 PM
Perine and the Steelers agreed on a one-year contract Thursday.
Analysis: Perine was waived by Kansas City on Friday and it took less than a week for him to find a new home in Pittsburgh. The running back compiled 77 rushing yards on 22 carries while also recording three catches for 33 yards over five games with Kansas City in 2023. He'll likely operate as an extreme depth option for the Steelers behind Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren if he secures an active roster spot in 2024.
Jonathan Ward
Jonathan Ward Inks one-year deal in Pittsburgh
Tue, May 21, 2024, 9:26 AM
The Steelers signed Ward to a one-year contract Tuesday.
Analysis: Ward handled a depth role across eight regular-season appearances with the Titans in 2023. He'll now get a chance to compete for a similar reserve spot in Pittsburgh, where Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren and Cordarrelle Patterson stand above him on the depth chart.
Najee Harris
Najee Harris Dropping weight for contract season
Fri, May 17, 2024, 9:12 AM
Harris' trainer said Friday the running back has dropped to around 235 pounds this offseason after playing at 242 during the 2023 season, and that he's increasingly motivated after the Steelers declined his fifth-year option, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.
Analysis: Harris is heading into the final season of his rookie deal with Pittsburgh, so there's no doubt about his motivation to log a productive year and earn sizeable payday for 2025. Playing at a lower weight could help Harris' efficiency metrics, and there's also some reason to be optimistic that he now finds himself in a better scenario than 2023, when he set new career-high marks with eight rushing touchdowns and 4.1 YPC. Rookie first-round pick Troy Fautanu should represent an upgrade to the O-line, and while there are question marks surrounding Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, both have the potential to command a more effective offense than Kenny Pickett did. Harris is capable of handling 20-plus touches but also dependent on volume to produce, making the emergence of Jaylen Warren the biggest threat to his fantasy prospects.
Scotty Miller
Scott Miller Lands in Pittsburgh
Wed, May 8, 2024, 2:15 PM
Miller agreed to terms Wednesday on a one-year contract with the Steelers, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Miller reunites with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Pittsburgh, after he logged a 11-161-2 receiving line across 17 appearances in 2023 in Atlanta, where Smith had served as the head coach. The wideout now gets a chance to compete with names like Quez Watkins, Denzel Mims, Marquez Callaway and Dez Fitzpatrick for a depth role with the Steelers this offseason.
Najee Harris
Najee Harris Pittsburgh declines 2025 option
Thu, May 2, 2024, 3:01 PM
The Steelers declined their 2025 option on Harris' contract, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: This comes as somewhat of a surprise after Harris has posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since being selected 24th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Most impressively, Harris has never missed a game at a position that sees so many injuries. He's been a model of toughness and durability, even if the stats haven't particularly jumped off the page with a career 3.9 yards-per-carry average. Harris, however, did rush for a career-best eight touchdowns last season, averaging a three year-best 4.1 yards per carry. Harris is now tentatively schedule to hit free agency next March, though Adam Schefter of ESPN notes that the Steelers aren't ruling out reaching a deal with the 26-year-old running back before then.
Justin Fields
Justin Fields Won't get fifth-year option
Wed, Apr 24, 2024, 9:04 AM
The Steelers aren't expected to pick up the fifth-year option on Fields' rookie contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: It perhaps goes without saying, given that Fields is coming in as the second QB on the depth chart and would be guaranteed around $25.66 million in 2025 if the Steelers were to pick up his option before the May 2 deadline. While the team may have interest in keeping him around beyond the upcoming season, it won't be at that price before he's ever put on a Steelers uniform. Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports that fellow offseason acquisition Russell Wilson will enter offseason workouts in "pole position" at quarterback, with Fields then getting a chance to compete at some point in the future, according to coach Mike Tomlin. Fields is on track to be a free agent next spring, and his playing time between now and then seems largely dependent on Wilson struggling.
MyCole Pruitt
MyCole Pruitt Joining Pittsburgh
Thu, Apr 4, 2024, 7:36 PM
Pruitt signed with Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Pruitt has consistently worked as a backup tight end, primarily as a blocker. He'll take on a similar role with the Steelers and should pair well with Darnell Washington to aid the run game. Pruitt is reunited with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith after also playing under him in Tennessee and Atlanta.
Pat Freiermuth
Pat Freiermuth Hoping to re-sign long term
Thu, Apr 4, 2024, 9:02 AM
Freiermuth said Wednesday on the Around the 412 Podcast that he wants to stay in Pittsburgh for the rest of his career, per Chris Ward of Steelers Now.
Analysis: The tight end is in a contract year, following a down 2023 season in which a hamstring injury cost him five games and may have limited his playing time in a few others. He caught nine passes for 120 yards in a Week 12 win over the Bengals and had five catches for 76 yards in a playoff loss to Buffalo, but otherwise Freiermuth had just 23 receptions for 188 yards and two TDs in 11 appearances. He was far more active in the passing game as a rookie (60-497-7) and again in 2022 (63-732-2), and he could be Option B behind WR George Pickens in 2024 after the Steelers hired OC Arthur Smith and traded WR Diontae Johnson to the Panthers. While Smith figures to prioritize the running game, his affinity for multi-TE formations could put Freiermuth in a near-every-down role for the first time (he averaged 42.7 snaps per game in 2021, 46.4 in 2022 and 39.5 in 2023).
Cordarrelle Patterson
Cordarrelle Patterson Takes talents to Pittsburgh
Tue, Mar 26, 2024, 3:24 PM
The Steelers and Patterson agreed to terms on a two-year, $6 million contract Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: With this move to Pittsburgh, Patterson reunites with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, with whom he worked under the past three seasons in Atlanta. Patterson reeled off 1,313 rushing yards, 670 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns in 29 games between 2021 and 2022, but he fell off almost completely working behind Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier in the most recent campaign (219 yards from scrimmage, one TD in 14 contests). Upon joining the Steelers, Patterson will be in a similar spot as the No. 3 RB behind Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, but the 33-year-old's ability as a kick returner likely will be where he makes his mark with his new squad.
Kyle Allen
Kyle Allen Lands in Pittsburgh
Mon, Mar 25, 2024, 1:32 PM
The Steelers agreed to terms on a contract with Allen on Monday, Alan Saunders of SteelersNow.com reports.
Analysis: Allen lands in a quarterback room that just brought in new faces Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. Currently, Wilson looks to be the favorite to start, though coach Mike Tomlin has stated that Fields will get opportunities to compete. Allen, meanwhile, looks firmly comfortable as the No. 3 option on the depth chart. He served as the backup to the Bills' Josh Allen in 2023.
Quez Watkins
Quez Watkins Joining Pittsburgh
Mon, Mar 25, 2024, 10:26 AM
Watkins is signing with the Steelers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: A 2020 sixth-round pick, Watkins made 25 starts for Philadelphia over the past four seasons but never saw more than 62 targets in a year. His 4.35 speed is his best trait, and he'll now join a Steelers team with only George Pickens entrenched as a starting wide receiver. Pittsburgh's other options at the position include Van Jefferson, Calvin Austin, Denzel Mims and Marquez Callaway, with more help possibly coming during the 2024 NFL Draft.
Justin Fields
Justin Fields Chance to compete for QB1 job?
Mon, Mar 25, 2024, 9:09 AM
Coach Mike Tomlin said Monday that Fields "will be given an opportunity to show his capabilities" even though Russell Wilson "has pole position" to be Pittsburgh's starting quarterback in 2024, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: It's still not quite clear if the Steelers' two new quarterbacks will compete for the starting job this spring/summer, as Tomlin's comments also could be interpreted as a suggestion that Wilson will be the No. 1 but without any assurances of staying in the spot if he struggles in practice (and eventually games). Reports shortly after Fields was traded suggested he'd be coming in as a clear backup, though it's probably worth noting that the QB-related reporting out of Pittsburgh this offseason has been rather unreliable. In any case, the team did well to acquire Wilson on a one-year, $1.21 million contract, later adding Fields in exchange for a sixth-round pick (that can become a fourth-rounder if he plays more than half the snaps in 2024). Neither QB is signed beyond the upcoming season, and the Steelers are unlikely to pick up the fifth-year option on Fields' rookie contract before the May 2 deadline.
Justin Fields
Justin Fields Viewed as backup to Russell Wilson
Sat, Mar 16, 2024, 7:03 PM
Fields, whom the Steelers acquired from the Bears on Saturday in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick, isn't expected to compete for Pittsburgh's starting quarterback job and is line to serve as a backup to Russell Wilson during the 2024 season, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Though Fields is due a larger salary in the final year of his rookie deal in 2024 than Wilson will earn on his one-year, $1.21 million contract, the Steelers are inclined to have Fields learn from Wilson rather than looking for the 25-year-old to directly challenge the nine-time Pro Bowler for the top spot on the depth chart. While Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that the Steelers are expected to decline Fields' pricey $25.66 million player option for 2025 prior to the May 2 deadline to do so, such a move wouldn't necessarily preclude Pittsburgh from re-signing the signal-caller next offseason if they're satisfied with his work in practices or in any action he might see in place of Wilson during his first season in the organization. Given that the 2025 sixth-round pick the Steelers gave up to acquire Fields would turn into a fourth-round pick if he plays more than 51 percent of the team's snaps this season, Pittsburgh has some extra incentive to stay committed to Wilson, at least for the early part of the campaign. Fields' fantasy outlook could brighten in 2025 if the Steelers commit to him as a starter or if he lands a more favorable opportunity elsewhere in free agency next spring, but at least for the upcoming season, he doesn't look as though he'll be anything more than a luxury stash in most redraft leagues.
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson Will start over Fields
Sat, Mar 16, 2024, 6:14 PM
Wilson is expected to serve as Pittsburgh's starting quarterback in 2024, even after the Steelers acquired Justin Fields from the Bears on Saturday in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round draft pick, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The Steelers acquired Fields one day after officially inking Wilson to a one-year contract, but the addition of Fields doesn't look as though it'll affect Wilson's standing as the team's projected starting quarterback during the upcoming season. As such, the 25-year-old Fields is slated to serve in a backup role to the 35-year-old Wilson, who is coming off a pair of underwhelming campaigns with Denver. The acquisition of Fields could still influence Pittsburgh's quarterback plans beyond 2024, and at a minimum, the Steelers would have a talented and experienced signal-caller waiting in the wings should Wilson suffer an injury or struggle early on in the season to ignite the team's passing game.
Justin Fields
Justin Fields Traded to Pittsburgh
Sat, Mar 16, 2024, 5:45 PM
The Steelers acquired Fields from the Bears on Saturday in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round draft pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: According to Schefter, the 2025 pick can become a fourth-round pick if Fields reaches an unspecified playing-time threshold with the Steelers in 2024. The trade sets up an interesting quarterback situation for the Steelers, who signed Russell Wilson to a low-cost one-year deal in free agency after he was waived by the Broncos earlier in the week. The Bears, meanwhile, have cleared the deck to draft a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which in all likelihood will be USC's Caleb Williams.
Van Jefferson
Van Jefferson Moves on to Pittsburgh
Fri, Mar 15, 2024, 5:48 PM
The Steelers and Jefferson agreed to a one-year contract Friday, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: Jefferson has a 50-802-6 line on 89 targets in 17 regular-season games from 2021 with the Rams on his resume, but the 2020 second-round pick otherwise has put together 63 catches, 798 yards and four touchdowns in his other three campaigns between L.A. and Atlanta. With his new squad, he'll be a part of a Pittsburgh receiving corps that lost Diontae Johnson via a trade with Carolina, meaning Jefferson currently slots in as the Steelers' No. 2 WR behind George Pickens. Ultimately, Jefferson's place in the pecking order for passes from quarterback Russell Wilson will depend on other additions made this offseason.
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson Left as only QB on roster
Fri, Mar 15, 2024, 2:49 PM
The Steelers traded Kenny Pickett to the Eagles a few hours after Wilson signed his one-year contract with Pittsburgh, ESPN's Brooke Pryor reports.
Analysis: The move leaves Wilson as Pittsburgh's only QB under contract, at least temporarily. Pickett reportedly expressed displeasure with the decision to sign Wilson, likely figuring he'd be a long shot to beat out the 35-year-old for a starting job. Wilson was a strong favorite for the Week 1 start even with Pickett on the team, and none of the available free agents would seem to pose any threat to Wilson's standing atop the depth chart if signed. The only potential hurdles at this point are a trade for Justin Fields or an early draft pick coming in at the position -- and even in those scenarios Wilson would still have a good chance to make the Week 1 start.
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson Officially signs with Pittsburgh
Fri, Mar 15, 2024, 10:46 AM
The Steelers signed Wilson to a one-year contract Friday, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Wilson was officially released by the Broncos on Wednesday with a post-June 1 designation, paving the way for the 35-year-old to ink a deal with Pittsburgh on Friday. With Mason Rudolph having signed on with the Titans, Wilson and 2022 first-rounder Kenny Pickett are currently the only two signal-callers on the Steelers' roster. The two are thus in line to compete for the team's starting job in the coming months, though at this stage, Wilson profiles as the favorite to land the assignment, per Mike DeFabo of the Athletic. Meanwhile, in the wake of the departures of Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson, the pass-catching duo of WR George Pickens and TE Pat Freiermuth, along with RB Jaylen Warren, are Pittsburgh's top returning pass-catching options.

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