With just a few weeks remaining before the start of the 2023 regular season Pittsburgh Steelers general manager, Omar Khan, continues to shuffle players at the bottom of the roster. Recently, Khan swapped out cornerbacks Isaiahh Dunn and an injured Duke Dawson for Lavert Hill and Nevelle Clarke. Now the Steelers are making moves on the offensive side of the ball.
In addition to a rapidly-changing 90-man roster, a former high draft choice of the Steelers is failing to catch on with other NFL teams. Here's the latest Steelers news as we draw closer to Pittsburgh's second preseason game.
James Washington is once again out of a job. The former second-round pick of the Steelers back in 2018 signed a one-year, $1.08 million contract with the New Orleans Saints this offseason. Sadly, Washington couldn't make it through his first training camp with New Orleans before he was thrown back on the pile. He has officially been released and is back on the market.
After leaving the Steelers when his rookie contract expired, the Dallas Cowboys pressed their luck with Washington, but a serious leg injury during camp last year forced him on IR. He would dress for just two games in Dallas and failed to catch his lone target.
Steelers fans had hope for Washington back in 2019 when he recorded 735 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 80 targets with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at the helm. He is now a long time removed from that. Because of his lack of special teams ability, it's highly unlikely that Pittsburgh has any interest in bringing back Washington -- even as a reserve receiver.
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As Washington lands back on the free agent pool, the Steelers continue to shuffle the bottom of their 90-man roster. Recently, former Penn State running back, John Lovett was released to make way for a change at the position. In his stead, Pittsburgh brought in RB Xazavian Valladay.
This is an intriguing signing. Valladay had an excellent college career at Wyoming and Arizona State -- compiling 4,466 rushing yards on 5.3 yards per carry. He is also interesting from an athletic standpoint thanks to his 4.46 speed, 40'' vertical, and 94th percentile athleticism, according to Relative Athletic Score.
Valladay still needs to prove that he's a better option at the position than Greg Bell and Darius Hagans, but that might be hard to do. However, he's going to have a hard time catching Anthony McFarland for the RB3 role unless he shows versatility on special teams. This is an interesting signing for Pittsburgh.
Recently, Bengals star receiver Ja'Marr Chase listed his Mount Rushmore for all-time NFL wide receivers, and it was met with some controversy. His list included Calvin Johnson, Cooper Kupp, Antonio Brown, and Jerry Rice. Interestingly, this list did not include players like Randy Moss or Terrell Owens.
Apart from rightfully having Jerry Rice on this list, there might be a bit of recency bias in Chase's WR rankings. He's obviously entitled to his own opinion, though many would disagree with his list.