Former Steelers tight end Jesse James is landing with the Las Vegas Raiders, signing to their practice squad, the team announced on Wednesday. This is the first team that James will join since the New Orleans Saints released him at the end of training camp. He had a stint with the Cleveland Browns last year but suffered an injury two weeks into his stay in Cleveland, ending his season.
The Steelers drafted James in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played out his entire rookie contract from 2015 to 2018 in a Steelers uniform, including the infamous drop against the New England Patriots in 2017. A Glassport native and South Allegheny and Penn State alum, James has all the Pittsburgh ties you could ask for and stayed with Pittsburgh through the 2018 season.
Following the year, James signed a four-year, $22.6 million contract before being released following the 2020 season. He would join the Chicago Bears the following season, serving as a captain during their game against the Steelers. However, he did not stay past that year. Instead, he moved on to the Browns and suffered a season-ending injury.
He tallied 120 receptions for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns with the Steelers throughout his tenure. James joins Las Vegas at the height of the season, with interim head coach Antonio Pierce bringing a newfound intensity and hope to the group, who crushed the hapless Giants 30-6 last Sunday.