If not for an ACL injury that brought an abrupt end to his season, Eli Rogers would likely still be on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster. Instead, the injury guaranteed the restricted free agent would not receive a contract offer and would struggle to find a team.
While he still does not have a contract with any team, Rogers has already been seen at the Steelers’ facilities this offseason and has made no secret about his desire to return to Pittsburgh. With the Steelers set to open training camp in a little over three weeks, the sooner Rogers can prove he is healthy, the better his chances of being re-signed and those hoping to see him back in the Black and Gold this season should be encouraged by his latest Instagram post.
Last Game Of The Season I tore my ACL. Going into a pivotal offseason that could bring change on many levels for me.... Most would question why it happened to them. Me? I Thank God it happened to me how it did. For I did not understand the magnitude of the space I Am about to enter. I Thank God for allotting me the time to See beyond what most think is real. Surely I am blessed with a gift, but my purpose serves far beyond any physical thing... Do know though❗️I will be back and better ❗️Ready to go Ape Nuts whenever I am blessed to be! #bELIeve
There can be little question the Steelers are missing some veteran depth at wide receiver following the departure of Martavis Bryant and while rookie James Washington looks to be a suitable replacement on paper, it never hurts to have options. If Rogers is close to returning to full strength, it can only be hoped a reunion is on the cards.
Given his injury, it is unlikely Rogers would be able to command much above the minimum salary or see a contract longer than a year, but the opportunity to return to a system he knows would be the perfect opportunity to reestablish himself as a productive receiver once again ahead of unrestricted free agency in 2019.
Despite a promising 2016 campaign that saw him record 594 yards and 3 touchdowns from 48 receptions, Rogers saw his targets drop significantly last year to 18 catches, 149 yards and just one touchdown thanks to the emergence of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Likely destined to be a reserve player behind Smith-Schuster and Washington, Rogers could still be a valuable depth addition and credible starter if required, assuming he can prove he is fully healthy.