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Steelers Non-Tender All Four Restricted Free Agents



Steelers Restricted Free Agent WR Steven sims

The Pittsburgh Steelers did not tender a contract to any of their four restricted free agents before their 4 p.m. deadline, meaning all of them are now unrestricted free agents.

The four Steelers with restricted free agent status were center/guard J.C. Hassenauer, running back Jeremy McNichols, cornerback James Pierre and wide receiver/kick returner Steven Sims.

In order for the Steelers to retain their rights, the club would have had to offer a contract of at least $2.6 million, fully guaranteed, for the 2023 season. By declining to tender the players, they are now free to negotiate with any team. It does not preclude those players returning to Pittsburgh on a lesser contract.

Hassenauer joined the Steelers in 2019 after playing in the Alliance of American football and spent the last four seasons as backup center and guard. He’s played in 45 games and made seven starts in that span, though he was not called on to start a game in 2022.

McNichols is a 27-year-old running back that the Steelers signed in training camp last fall. He suffered an injury and spent the entire 2022 season on the IR list.

Pierre joined the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of FAU in 2020 and made the team as a kickoff gunner as a rookie. After starting out the 2021 season in the regular playing rotation, he lost playing time to Ahekllo Witherspoon. With Witherspoon injured in 2022, Pierre saw increased playing time in the second half of the season.

Sims came to the Steelers as part of the team’s 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.

With the four restricted free agents now added to the list, the Steelers now have 18 players that are unrestricted free agents, they have retained five free agents (OLB Jamir Jones, S Damontae Kazee, LS Christian Kuntz, WR Anthony Miller and DT Larry Ogunjobi) and lost two free agents (ILB Robert Spillane and CB Cam Sutton).



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