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Steelers All 90: Ja’Marcus Bradley Underrated Option at WR?



Steelers Ja'Marcus Bradley

In a crowded wide receiver room, a former Cleveland Browns player is trying to earn himself a spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.

Ja’Marcus Bradley signed with the Steelers in November of last season but spent the year on the practice squad and never really got to display his talents to the Steelers’ coaches.

This year though, the Louisiana product has been turning some heads and it is not just because he is donning the No. 84 jersey, formely worn by Antonio Brown.

Bradley made plays all throughout the Steelers’ organized training activites and mandatory minicamp sessions which should boost his chances of making the team’s final 53-man roster.

In his time with Cleveland, Bradley appeared in eight games and logged nine receptions for 124 yards. In addition, he returned kicks for the Browns at a point and averaged 24.5 yards per return. The special teams ability will definitely factor into Bradley’s chances of making the final roster.

In his time at Louisiana-Lafayette, Bradley steadily improved each season to the point of being the first Ragin’ Cajun to haul in 10-plus touchdowns in consecutive seasons. Additionally, Bradley returned kicks for Louisiana in his final two seasons as he averaged 21.1 yards per return.

In 2019, Bradley led Louisiana with 60 receptions for 906 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished his Ragin’ Cajun career ranked second in school history with 23 touchdowns.

The drawback for Bradley is that he is in a room with 12 other wide receivers and with only six or seven spots open on the roster for that position, four of them are already filled by the likes of Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson II, and Calvin Austin III.

Bradley will be in direct competition with players such as Dez Fitzpatrick, Jordan Byrd, Cody White, and Miles Boykin for one of the remaining spots on the active roster.

Nonetheless, Bradley will have the opportunity to prove himself in training camp and the preseason but if all else fails it is likely that he will be one of the top options for the team’s practice squad.

84 • Ja’Marcus Bradley, Wide Receiver, Lousiana
6-foot-1, 198 pounds, 26 years old, 4th Season

Acquired: The Steelers signed Bradley to the team’s practice squad on Nov. 23, 2022.

Last SeasonAfter being waived prior to the season, Bradley spent a few months not on any team’s practice squad. Then in November, Bradley signed with the Steelers and the team placed him on their practice squad for the rest of the season.

He decided to sign a reserve/future contract with the Steelers earlier this offseason.

CareerAn undrafted free agent out of Louisiana in 2020, Bradley spent two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. In 2020 as a rookie, Bradley appeared in three games for the Browns and saw 10 targets. On his targets, Bradley hauled in five receptions for 60 yards. Additionally, he was on the Browns’ roster for their Wildcard win against the Steelers in 2020.

In his second year, Bradley appeared in five games for the Browns. He caught all four of his targets for 64 yards as a second-year player. Bradley also returned two kickoffs for the Browns in 2021 as he averaged 24.5 yards per return.

In his career, Bradley has 9 receptions for 124 yards and zero touchdowns.

Steelers Ja'Marcus Bradley

Steelers wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley catches a punt at the team’s OTAs in May of 2023.

Year Team GP Targets Receptions Rec Yards Rec Tds PFF Rating
2020 CLE 3 10 5 60 0 56.6
2021 CLE 5 4 4 64 0 64.7
2022 PIT 0 0 0 0 0

CollegeBradley committed to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette after high school. In 2015, Bradley appeared in two games and did not record any official stats. Due to his limited playing time, Bradley retained his redshirt eligibility.

In 2016, Bradley played in 10 games for the Ragin’ Cajuns as he caught 21 passes for 370 yards and a receiving touchdown. He led the team in receiving yards per catch and ranked fourth on the team in receptions despite missing three games due to injury.

Bradley started all 12 games for the Ragin’ Cajuns as a redshirt sophomore in 2017. He hauled in 29 receptions for 475 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He finished the season ranked second on the team in receptions, third in receiving yards, and tied for second in receiving touchdowns.

In 2018, Bradley started all 14 games at wide receiver and finished the season with a team-high and career-high 10 receiving touchdowns. His 10 touchdowns were the most by a Louisiana player since the 1996 season. In addition, Bradley hauled in 40 receptions for 608 yards. Following the season, Bradley was named third-team All-Sun Belt.

As a redshirt senior, Bradley played in fewer games than in 2018 but put up better numbers, excluding touchdowns. In 10 starts, Bradley caught 60 receptions for 906 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Bradley finished his career at Louisiana ranked second in touchdowns (23), fourth in career receiving yards (2,359), and was the first Ragin’ Cajun to haul in 10 touchdowns in consecutive seasons.

Year GP Receptions Rec Yards Rec TDs
2015 2 0 0 0
2016 10 21 370 1
2017 12 29 475 2
2018 14 40 608 10
2019 10 60 906 10

Salary cap and future: Bradley is in Pittsburgh on a one-year deal and he will cost $940,000 if he makes the team’s final 53-man roster. The Steelers can release Bradley and not incur any dead money if they chose to go that route with the fourth-year receiver.

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