The Pittsburgh Steelers are far from a finished product heading into the 2022 regular season. While the roster has come along nicely this offseason, there are still holes which need to be filled.
Of the positions which could use some added depth, outside linebacker, or pass rusher, would certainly fall into this category. With just T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Derrek Tuszka and Genard Avery as the pass rushers on their offseason roster, it is now being reported the team is trying out a trio of pass rushers.
This per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:
The Steelers are working out several pass rushers, per sources - Wyatt Ray, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Trent Harris. Pittsburgh should have a roster spot open after a release last week and could sign one of these three.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 1, 2022
You might be wondering how the Steelers can add a player and still be under the league’s 90-man roster limit? After releasing Travon Mason yesterday, they have an open spot on their roster.
As for the three pass rushers brought in, here is some background on each player:
Played his college football at Boston College and was signed as an Undrafted Rookie Free Agent (UDFA) by the Cleveland Browns in 2019. He was waived by the team during the last round of roster cuts, and spent time with the Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills and New York Jest during the 2019 season.
In 2020 Ray was signed by the Tennessee Titans and bounced from the practice squad to the active roster twice during the season. Ray finished the 2020 season with one tackle and one sack.
Ray spent the 2021 season with the Cincinnati Bengals before being released following the season. He finished 2021 with 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 sack.
Odenigbo was a 7th round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Northwestern. After spending time on the Vikings’ practice squad, Odenigbo bounced from the Cleveland Browns to the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 before returning to Minnesota on their practice squad.
During his second stint with the Viking Odenigbo was promoted to the 53-man roster and stayed on the active roster the remainder of the season in 2019. He remained in Minnesota until he was released in 2021.
In March of 2021 Odenigbo signed a one-year contract with the New York Giants, but didn’t make the team. He was signed, again, by the Browns and finished the 2021 season on their active roster.
Harris played his college football for Miami, and was an UDFA in 2018 by the New England Patriots. After spending the entire 2018 season on the Patriots’ practice squad, he found a new home with the Miami Dolphins in 2019. After spending the entire 2019 season, under current Steelers defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores, he was released prior to the start of the 2020 season.
The 2021 season saw Harris bounce to and from the Giants’ practice squad until he was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) in December of 2021. After being signed to a reserve/futures contract with New York, he was waived in May.
The Steelers are doing their homework on these journeymen pass rushers, but do you think any of them would be an upgrade over what they currently have on their roster? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on through Phase 3 of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp.