The Houston Texans released former Steelers wide receiver Steven Sims on Tuesday, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston.
Back in March, Sims signed a one-year deal with Houston after a successful visit with the team in free agency. He became a prominent contributor during the Steelers’ late season 7-2 run after the bye week. Sims was one of the restricted free agents that Pittsburgh did not tender, so he hit free agency.
The Steelers first signed Sims to their practice squad in 2021 after two seasons with the Washington Football Team. He played in just one game in 2021. Still, he got a much bigger opportunity in 2022, first when he leapfrogged Gunner Olszewski early in the season to become the team’s primary kick and punt returner, and then after the trade of Chase Claypool when he became the primary slot receiver.
Sims ended up playing 34% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps. He finished eighth on the team with 14 catches for 104 yards on 23 targets. He added 19 punt returns for 105 yards and 17 kick returns for 435 yards to give him 713 all-purpose yards, which was fifth on the team.
Pittsburgh could look to bring Sims back if the value is there. Sims offers versatile value both as the slot receiver and return specialist, with the Steelers having Calvin Austin III now manning that role. Pittsburgh has options in the slot, such as Austin, Olszewski and Allen Robinson II, that could make Sims redundant.
Sims, 26, reeled in 14 catches for 104 yards down the stretch for Pittsburgh. As a kick returner, he averaged 25.5 yards per return on 17 returns while adding 105 punt return yards on 19. He has one career return touchdown with Washington in his rookie season. With Pittsburgh’s explosiveness in the return game with Austin and Anthony McFarland, the contingency plans were already made before Sims left in free agency.