The Pittsburgh Steelers announced another surprising personnel move on Thursday, confirming a new two-year deal for wide receiver Eli Rogers via social media.
Having spent most of the 2018 season on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) after tearing his ACL against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs, Rogers was already under contract to the Steelers in 2019 given his contract had tolled. Originally set to cost Pittsburgh just $720,000 this season, the minimum salary allowed for a player with his experience, many will reasonably question why the front office chose to extend him right now.
Rogers first arrived in Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent in 2015, his best season with the Steelers coming in 2016 when he recorded 48 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns.
When speaking to Teresa Varley on Steelers.com after putting pen to paper on his new deal, Rodgers explained what the extension meant to him.
“It’s a blessing for me to be here, I like the atmosphere, the love here. The camaraderie, the people in the building, the team. Especially Coach (Mike) Tomlin. I love the way he carries himself every day. He is a true example of coming to work in a certain spirit every day, being a professional. I appreciate seeing a man like him being a role model, an example of how you should be as a professional. The coaches are all cool. You can talk to anyone and they have something to offer you, always helping you.”
But with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington and Ryan Switzer all expected to be ahead of him on the depth chart, it seems unlikely he will see much playing time in 2019 barring injury.