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Steelers Sign Former Rams WR Van Jefferson

The Pittsburgh Steelers are signing former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson to a contract.



Pittsburgh Steelers WR Van Jefferson -- Van Jefferson from the Washington Football Team vs. Los Angeles Rams at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. October 11, 2020 (All-Pro Reels Photography)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are signing former Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Van Jefferson, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is an Arthur Smith connection, as the Falcons traded for Jefferson from the Rams a year ago, but he only put up 20 receptions between the two teams.

It has been a quiet last two seasons for Jefferson. The 2021 season was his best year when he scored 802 receiving yards and six touchdowns. For what it is worth, Dulac specifically reported that Jefferson was being signed for depth purposes, which makes sense given his lack of production in the last few seasons.

Jefferson has played both inside and outside. He comes to Pittsburgh as a solid blocker, which they needed as depth in this room, with Calvin Austin III being the deep field stretcher. Pittsburgh clearly needs more at the position and has talked with guys like Tyler Boyd. So, it feels like Jefferson is one of the moves to re-stock the receiver room before filling it out with likely another signing and draft pick.

Multiple receivers came off the free agency board on Thursday night. Curtis Samuel, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Keenan Allen and Cedrick Wilson all reached agreements on Thursday night. The Chargers traded Allen to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick, while Brown landed in Kansas City and Wilson is heading to New Orleans. Samuel agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with Buffalo. In addition, it was reported on Wednesday that Calvin Ridley is signing a massive four-year, $92 million contract, including $50 million guaranteed, with the Tennessee Titans.

Jefferson is the first step in replenishing a room that lost Diontae Johnson to trade and others to free agency. The competition at the bottom of the roster looks like it is getting re-stocked, too, and Jefferson should be part of that rotation of players.