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.