UNITY TWP., Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers have claimed edge rusher Hamilcar Rashed off waivers from the New York Jets, according to the NFL transactions page for Wednesday.
Rashed, 24, joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2021. He was released after training camp and spent the entire season on the New York practice squad before re-singing for 2022. He was waived on Aug. 8.
A 6-foot-2, 251-pound edge rusher listed by the Jets as a defensive end, Rashed will likely slot into an outside linebacker spot where the Steelers have been desperately seeking depth behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.
With Highsmith and veteran backup Genard Avery both banged up this week, Derrek Tuszka has drawn into the starting lineup at training camp, with Delontae Scott and Tuzar Skipper working with the second team. But head coach Mike Tomlin threw cold water on any praise for Tuszka, saying he had yet to earn that role.
The Steelers recently added former Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans outside linebacker Ron’Dell Carter to the mix, and he and Rashed will provide depth for the unit moving through the preseason.
Tomlin has not revealed any prognosis for the injuries for Highsmith (ribs) and Avery (groin), instead characterizing all of his injured players as being day to day.
In four seasons at Oregon State, Rashed recorded 144 tackles, 16.5 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. He also forced three fumbles, recovered one and defended six passes. His 16.5 sacks are sixth all-time in Beavers history and he was a first-team All-American in 2019, but with increased attention from offenses in 2020, was not able to replicate that success as a senior.
Rashed played in one game while elevated from the practice squad in 2021, playing 18 snaps, 16 on defense, and recording one tackle. In one preseason game with the Jets in 2021, Rashed had one tackle.
To make room for Rashed on the 90-man offseason roster, the Steelers waived injured inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III.