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New Steelers CB Anthony Averett Speaks on Opportunity in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers could have a new slot cornerback option in Anthony Averett after signing him following this week’s rookie minicamp tryout.

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Anthony Averett

The Pittsburgh Steelers need help in the slot, and that position remains vacant with only a few options on the roster. Those include Beanie Bishop and Josiah Scott, but veteran Anthony Averett could provide a solid player who could push for that job. He spent much of last season on the Detroit Lions practice squad. Now, he will join the Steelers, as they signed him after his tryout. But Averett has dealt with a lot of adversity before landing with Pittsburgh.

Averett, 29, was drafted in the fourth round out of Alabama by the Baltimore Ravens. He would go from there after his rookie contract ended in 2021 to the Las Vegas Raiders on a one-year contract. From there, he spent 2023 hopping between the San Francisco 49ers and Lions.

Averett didn’t expect to be invited to Steelers rookie minicamp on a tryout, but he’s just looking for any chance that he can get to resurrect his career.

“Not really, I kind of just go. Yeah, I just go. I mean, hey, rookie — didn’t really expect to be here my seventh year in, hey, you know, life takes you different, you know, different places,” Averett said.

Throughout his career, Averett has three interceptions, 23 pass deflections, and 114 tackles. The 5-foot-11 cornerback earned most of those stats while with the Ravens. He has also dealt with a multitude of injuries, including a broken thumb in 2022 and shoulder and hamstring injuries in 2020.

Averett said that he felt a lot of teams didn’t reach out due to concerns over his recent injury history.

“I feel like teams were scared away just to touch me a little bit (because of injury) — but hey, Pittsburgh is not,” Averett said. “I am here, I’m healthy — and I’m ready to go. I am here to show it, that’s the point.”

However, he sees himself having plenty of juice left in the tank. Back in 2021, his stock was pointed sharply upward, but the Steelers could provide a certainty for Averett that he will have a chance to compete, and perhaps even garner some upside into the room with his inside-out versatility.

“I had a couple injuries my last two years,” Averett said “I’m finally fully healthy and I’m definitely in shape. I’ve got plenty of juice left.

Anthony Averett has spent far more time on the outside than in the slot, but he has experience in the slot over his career, amassing over 200 career snaps there. So, he is an inside-out capable player who could provide some needed versatility to the Steelers secondary.

Over the last two offseason, the Steelers have signed and/or traded for linebacker Kwon Alexander, tackle Dylan Cook, tackle Jesse Davis, safety Terrell Edmunds, outside linebacker Markus Golden, safety Damontae Kazee, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and Sullivan between the end of the draft and the start of the preseason.

In other words, a veteran like Anthony Averett would add another chapter to the book that Omar Khan has written well over his first two periods as general manager. He could also add some competition to the slot and outside cornerback roles that can help boost that room. Averett does not preclude the team from bringing back Cam Sutton, Patrick Peterson, or Sullivan. But he at least adds a level of security and depth to the competition outside of just Beanie Bishop and Josiah Scott.