Steelers Lose WR/KR Steven Sims to Free Agency
The Houston Texans are signing former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and kick returner Steven Sims, according to a report by Aaron Wilson of KRPC Houston.
Sims, 25 is a Houston native. He took a free agent visit with the Texans earlier this week. The length and terms of the contract were not immediately available.
Sims had been scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Steelers chose not to tender him a contract, which would have been worth $2.6 million and guaranteed for 2023.
Thee 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, but 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.
Related: Steven Sims Takes Over Slot Role From Chase Claypool
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.
The Steelers have three internal options at slot receiver, included Olszewski and two players that missed the 2022 season with injury: Anthony Miller and Calvin Austin III.
Miller also joined the Steelers in 2021 and had a strong 2022 training camp before a preseason injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season. The Steelers re-signed Miller to a one-year contract for 2023 earlier this offseason
Austin was the team’s fourth-round draft pick out of Memphis in 2022. The undersized speedster suffered a Lisfranc sprain in the preseason and was unable to return to action last year.
Because the Steelers did not tender him a contract, they will not be eligible for draft pick compensation because of him signing with Houston.
Sims is the seventh Steelers free agent to sign with another team this offseason, joining inside linebacker Devin Bush (Seattle Seahawks), strong safety Terrell Edmunds (Philadelphia Eagles), outside linebacker Malik Reed (Miami Dolphins), inside linebacker Robert Spillane (Las Vegas Raiders) and cornerback Cameron Sutton (Detroit Lions).