4 Steelers who can’t be counted on to contribute in 2022

Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (14). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers can’t count on McCloud

Ray-Ray McCloud has been a huge success as a returner for the team, bringing what was once one of the worst units in the league up to above average. He doesn’t make this list for his return ability, but instead for what he offers the team on offense. Since JuJu Smith-Schuster was lost for the season to a shoulder injury, McCloud has played an obscene 46 percent of the offensive snaps and has almost out-snapped fellow receiver James Washington.

The results haven’t been great, as the receiver doesn’t run great routes and isn’t a threat to catch the ball that far down the field. He is, on average, only targeted four yards down the field on any given throw and averages a mediocre 6.6 yards per catch. While those numbers are actually his career-best, that is more indicative that he isn’t a great offensive weapon as opposed to him being a sudden tool for this offensive unit.

While McCloud can be re-signed next offseason, it will have to be for about where his contract is now, and the plan has to be for him to be a special teams/gadget player only at this point. He has proven to be an ineffective offensive target that is limited in what he provides. While a fine returner, the team can’t go into 2022 with McCloud an option in the slot on offense.