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Steelers Sign Big-Bodied Wide Receiver



Steelers Denzel Mims
New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) prior to an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Steelers are signing former Jets and Lions wide receiver Denzel Mims to their practice squad, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

Mims was traded from the Jets to the Detroit Lions this offseason but suffered an ankle injury that forced the Lions to waive him. Since then, he has not found work in the NFL, but the Steelera is the first team he will join since the injury. When trade rumors flew around this offseason, the Steelers were among the teams interested in acquiring Mims from the Jets.

The former second-round pick out of the NFL Draft in 2020 has never found proper footing with the New York Jets, getting demoted on the depth chart early in his career.

The connection for the Steelers and Mims is wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson. He was at Baylor at the same time that Mims was, and as his primary coach, Mims soared to become one of the best wideouts in the Big 12. While that’s not enough to land him in Pittsburgh, it’s a strong connection.

This offseason, the Jets vowed to look for a trade partner that would want Mims but were seemingly OK with releasing him if it came down to it. However, the team did not release him, moving him to Detroit, where Mims failed to stay healthy.

Mims. 25, has 42 career catches for 676 yards and has never scored a touchdown. In 2022, he caught 11 passes for 186 yards as he moved in and out of the lineup, with questions about Elijah Moore and other injuries occurring. Still, Mims never got a firm foothold in the rotation and was benched when everything settled back into place.

Coming out of Baylor, Mims was a high-pedigree player considered a potential first-round pick. When he got there, he was undoubtedly in the conversation for the Steelers to take at 49th overall, but the team opted to take Chase Claypool instead. Now, with some teams seemingly vying for the services of Mims, he stands to land somewhere. The Steelers lack bodies on the outside at wide receiver, including at the Z, where Mims would likely line up.