Ten of the 11 players who just signed future/reserve contracts had spent time on the Steelers' practice squad at some point during the 2016 season. Running back, Karlos Williams is the biggest name on the list. Williams was famously cut by the Buffalo Bills after incurring a four-game suspension and showing up to OTAs 30 pounds overweight. Pittsburgh signed Williams to their practice squad on October 12, but he promptly failed another drug test and was suspended for 10 games on November 23. The NFL has reduced his suspension to 1 game for 2017, which is the primary reason the Steelers resigned him. He is the brother of backup LB Vince Williams.
Others who were signed, running backs Gus Johnson, Brandon Brown-Dukes, Dreamius Smith, corner backs Brandon Dixon, Mike Hilton, offensive linemen Mike Feiler, Keavon Milton, safety Jacob Hagan and wide receiver Marcus Tucker.
Wide recover Dez Stewart is the lone new addition to the Steelers. Stewart is a raw prospect out of Ohio Dominican University where he accounted for 195 receptions for 3,195 yards to go along with 25 TDs. The 2016 undrafted rookie free agent at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, first latched onto Tampa Bay's taxi squad before spending time on the Washington Redskins' taxi squad. Pittsburgh signed him off of Green Bay's taxi squad. The Packers do not receive compensation.
Two players who were on the taxi squad at the end of 2016 have not been resigned, Caushaud Lyons and Shaq Riddick. Lyons signed with the Tennessee Titans as he was not offered a contract by the Steelers. Riddick is unlikely to be signed by the Steelers but should latch on with another team at some point.
Reserve/futures contracts are not guaranteed and do not come with any bonus money. Contracts are 1-2 year deals at the league minimum of $465,000 for 2017. These contracts do not take effect until the new NFL league years starts on March 9th. They do not count against the salary cap until then. The Steelers currently do not have 51 players under contract so they do fit into the Top 51 Rule.