The Steelers corps of receivers were seemingly going to be a very promising group again in the 2019 season, but the Antonio Brown situation occurred and he and his 104 catches/15 TDs and 1,297 yards are exiting with him. That leaves JuJu Smith-Schuster as the WR1. No. 19 had a breakout season with 111 grabs, 1,426 yards and seven TDs. Questions do remain if JuJu benefited to much from the attention paid by secondaries to AB and if he can play the top role in Pittsburgh.
In the season finale, JJSS struggled in that position. There can be a whole lot of reasons for that though as a full week’s preparation without AB was absent. The rookie, James Washington, didn’t adapt as quickly as JuJu the year before. He will be needed to come up big in his second year. After that, there’s a whole lot of question marks. Eli Rogers, Justin Hunter and Darrius Heyward-Bey are free agents. Rogers may get a chance to return, while DHB and Hunter seem unlikely to. Ryan Switzer arrived last year and seemed to gain Ben Roethlisberger’s confidence. He could get time in the slot. The Steelers may need to add mightily to this position group through free agency and the draft. Here are a list of who’s available.
Golden Tate - Philadelphia Eagles
Tate had a weird season, based on his career numbers, in 2018. Golden, traded at the deadline from Detroit, had 74 catches, 795 yards and four catches spread over the two teams. He never seemed to gel with Carson Wentz or Nick Foles, but it seems that he should rebound with a full offseason with a new club. He could be a perfect compliment to JuJu.
Tyrell Williams - Los Angeles Chargers
Williams is intriguing. The 27-year old had a 1,000 yard season in 2016 and his being 6’4” makes him a quality, deep threat. Last year, he only had 41 catches for 653 yards and five TDs. But still, Williams could make a great compliment to JuJu and give Ben that guy that can stretch the field. This could be a steal for the Steelers should they look Williams’ way.
Jamison Crowder - Washington Redskins
Crowder only played nine games last season and the QB situation was less than stellar in Washington. At 25, he could find success elsewhere as a WR2 if he could stay on the field and if he were in a better QB situation.
Robby Anderson - New York Jets (RFA)
Anderson is talented, but has had some character issues and brushes with the law recently. He’s also going to cost teams a second-round pick. With 113 catches, 13 TDs and 1,693 yards the past two seasons, Anderson could be a find for many a franchise. But with the tender and his recent history off of the field, I can’t imagine the Steelers will look his way.
Michael Crabtree - Baltimore Ravens
Crabtree, just released by the Ravens, could be a good compliment to JuJu. The Texas Tech product has had a good career in the NFL, but 2018 was not his finest season with 54 catches, 607 yards and only three trips to the end zone. Age could be the reason for the 32-year old’s decline, but QB Joe Flacco’s injury could be as well. The Steelers may want to test the waters here.
Other Notable Free Agent Wide Receivers
John Brown - Baltimore Ravens
Dontrelle Inman - Indianapolis Colts
Dez Bryant - New Orleans Saints
Adam Humphries - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Geronimo Allison - Green Bay Packers (RFA)
Kelvin Benjamin - Kansas City Chiefs
Donte Moncrief - Jacksonville Jaguars
Cole Beasley - Dallas Cowboys
Randall Cobb - Green Bay Packers
Demariyus Thomas - Houston Texans
Josh Gordon - New England Patriots (RFA)
Pierre Garçon - San Francisco 49ers