Eli Rogers is an unrestricted free agent with a lingering ACL injury, meaning the Pittsburgh Steelers are still his best shot at playing in 2018.
The wide receiving core in Pittsburgh is one of the NFL’s best. Not just Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, but all the way down to Eli Rogers. Although Rogers is an unrestricted free agent at the moment, he could find his way back to the Steelers before training camp.
Roger’s productivity in Pittsburgh dropped with the additions of Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant last season. This was expected as Rogers is primarily a slot receiver and the fourth option on a team loaded with wideouts.
Roger’s ACL injury is his biggest issue right now. His recovery is moving swiftly, and his optimism makes you think he should be available by the start of the season. If he is, head coach Mike Tomlin has made it known he wants the receiver back in the rotation.
Rogers is this team’s best bet as a backup slot man. His connection with Ben Roethlisberger is very relevant, and his work ethic is second-to-none. With a team so close to a Super Bowl run, keeping the pieces of the puzzle together go as small as fourth string receiver.
Yes, this team has made major offseason signings, and they might not be done. But keeping the little guys on board can be the difference between a slow start and claiming the AFC. Roger may not catch 10 touchdowns next season, but he brings a pair of reliable hands to the offense behind the stars.
Rogers, most likely, isn’t going to get a deal handed to him until after the draft. Pittsburgh is focused on April 26, and aren’t too worried about Rogers finding a new home in the meantime. But come May, this team will return to finishing off the roster, and chances are, Rogers earns his opportunity to fill a spot in the final 53.