Even though the reports on all three players came over the past week, the Steelers have officially announced the signings of safety Tyree Kinnel, linebacker and long snapper Christian Kuntz, and defensive end Dewayne Hendrix from the XFL.
We have signed DE Dewayne Hendrix, S Tyree Kinnel and LB/LS Christian Kuntz to one-year contracts.@BordasLaw TRANSACTION: https://t.co/d1YPtlul53 pic.twitter.com/9oeUsqqm8f— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 30, 2020
Tyree Kinnel had 17 total tackles in the shortened XFL season. After a Michigan career during which he had 170 tackles, two interceptions and one sack, Kinnel signed with the Bengals as a undrafted free agent in 2019 but was cut after training camp.
Kuntz spent the 2019 preseason with the Steelers before losing the long snapping job to Kameron Canaday. Kuntz does provide something which Canaday does not, and that is position flexibility. Kuntz is not just a long snapper, but can also play linebacker. While not vying for a starting job, he could provide depth at a position of need if the Steelers feel he would give the team value at that position.
Hendrix spent the XFL season with the St. Louis Battlehawks where he tallied one sack and four tackles. Undrafted out of Pittsburgh last year, Hendrix was signed by the Miami Dolphins where he spent the preseason, making five tackles with three sacks and two forced fumbles. Hendrix originally made the practice squad in Miami and also spent time on the practice squads of the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. Playing his freshman year of college at the University of Tennessee, Hendrix transferred after only one season playing for the Volunteers. In his two years playing for Pitt, Hendrix had 50 tackles along with 7.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
While the signings are noteworthy, they are on a similar level as the futures contracts the Steelers use to sign the majority of players from their 2019 practice squad. For all three players, their contract with the Steelers will give them a chance to showcase their talents in training camp and the NFL preseason in order to catch the eye of the Steelers or any of the other 31 NFL teams.
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