The Steelers put in a waiver claim on former New York tight end Jordan Leggett this week, only to lose out to a better claim by the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
Five times placed a claim on Leggett, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end out of Clemson that New York selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Leggett missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury, but bounced back in 2018 to make four starts. He finished with 14 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Field Yates of ESPN reported that the Steelers, Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans all placed claims after the Jets unexpectedly cut Leggett on Monday. Tampa Bay won the claim because the Bucs had the worst record of the five teams during the 2018 season.
Source: the Buccaneers, Bills, Packers, Steelers and Titans all placed a claim on former Jets TE Jordan Leggett. Tampa Bay landed Leggett because it had highest waiver wire order priority.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 22, 2019
The Steelers were reportedly interested in Leggett coming out of Clemson, and made the move to try to secure another tight end with experience for training camp. Fifth-round draft pick Zach Gentry and first-year players Kevin Rader and Christian Scotland-Williamson are the team’s only options behind returning starter Vance McDonald and backup Xavier Grimble.
The number of claims and the relatively successful teams like the Packers and Steelers making claims will certainly bring skepticism to the decision-making process for Jets coach Adam Gase, who has come under fire before ever coaching a game.
Gase also fired longtime scout Bill Duracker on Tuesday as he continues to consolidate his power within the club after coming out on top of a struggle with former general manager Mike Maccagnan, who was fired on May 15.
Speaking with NFL.com on Monday, Gase disputed that characterization.
“I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle,” Gase said. “Because whoever is getting hired is going to have the same role — control of the roster. I will coach the football team. That’s what I’m going to do. Nothing is changing in that structure.”
Gates was fired on Dec. 31 after a 23-25 record over three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Maccagnan hired Gase on Jan. 11.
Report: Mike Hilton Signs Second-Round Tender
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Mike Hilton has signed his 2nd-round tender, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Steelers’ CB Mike Hilton signed his 2nd-round tender, per @RosenhausSports, though he still is hoping to get a contract extension done with the team before the season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 11, 2020
The 26-year-old cornerback started eight games and appeared in all 16, recording 62 tackles, 11 passes defensed, 1.5 sacks and one interception, an improvement in most categories from his first two years in Pittsburgh. Undrafted out of Mississippi, Hilton was signed by the Steelers in December of 2016 after being cut by the Jaguars and Patriots.
The Steelers placed second-round tenders on both Hilton and tackle Matt Feiler, who reportedly signed his earlier in the day. The tenders were worth $3.259 million in 2020.
Report: Steelers Re-Signing RFA OT Matt Feiler
Restricted free agent offensive tackle is signing his second-round restricted free agent tender with the Steelers, according to a report by ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Source says Steelers right tackle Matt Feiler is signing his second-round restricted free-agent tender.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) June 11, 2020
The tender contract, offered to Feiler back in March, is worth $3.259 million.
Bringing back Feiler — who started all 16 games in 2019 — adds much needed depth and experience to an older Steelers offensive line that is also trying to replace the recently retired Ramon Foster. Pittsburgh also added former Kansas City Chiefs guard Stefen Wisniewski this offseason in free agency.
Feiler was ranked as the 20th-best tackle in the league for his performance last season.
Had another club signed Feiler to an offer sheet and the Steeler chose not to match, they would have received that team’s 2021 second round pick as compensation.
Undrafted out of Bloomsburg University in 2014, Feiler has realistically spent his entire career in Pittsburgh, aside from a short stint with the Texans.
With Feiler locked up, the Steelers now await starting slot cornerback Mike Hilton’s decision, who they also placed the second-round tender on.
Report: Steelers to Hold Training Camp at Team Facility, Not at Saint Vincent College
It looks like the Steelers will be staying home for training camp this August.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday, the league has informed teams that they must hold training camp at their facilities later this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And so the NFL has told all its teams that they must stay at their team facilities for this summer's training camps.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 2, 2020
The Steelers will now be conducting training camp on the South Side, instead of their traditional summer home of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, snapping a 54-year streak.
The league still plans for training camp to begin on time, but has made no announcement on changes to the season or whether games will have fans.