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Steelers Sign 13 to Reserve/Future Contracts



The Steelers have signed 13 players to reserve/future contracts for the 2021 season, the team announced on Thursday.

Safety John Battle, defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas, guard/tackle Anthony Coyle, wide receiver Anthony Johnson, outside linebacker/long snapper Christian Kuntz, offensive tackle John Leglue, tight end Kevin Rader, inside linebacker Tegray Scales, defensive end Calvin Taylor, punter Corliss Waitman, offensive tackle Brandon Walton, cornerback Trevor Williams and wide receiver Cody White were all re-signed for the 2021 season.

All 13 players had been on the Steelers’ practice squad during the 2020 season.

Battle, who just finished his second professional season out of LSU, spent the entire 2020 season on the Steelers practice squad after originally joining the team on a futures contract last January.

Christmas is a former sixth-round draft pick (2019) of Seattle that was released by the Seahawks on Oct. 6. The Steelers signed him to the practice squad Nov. 7, where he remained for the rest of the season.

Coyle just finished his third pro season out of Fordham. He joined the Steelers in the spring of 2020 after a stint in the XFL. He spent most of the season on the practice squad but was promoted to the active roster twice, against Baltimore in Week 12 and against Cleveland in Week 17. He did not appear in either game.

Johnson signed with the Steelers last January on a future contract after spending his first pro season in Tampa Bay and with the Los Angeles Chargers. He was injured in training camp, given an injury settlement and then re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 26.

Kuntz, a Duquesne and Chartiers Valley alum, spent his second season with the Steelers. The fourth-year pro also has spent time with the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. Kuntz was with the Steelers in training camp in 2019, played with the Dallas Renegades in the XFL in 2020, then re-joined the Steelers in March. He was cut on Aug. 2, then re-signed to the practice squad on Nov. 24, released Dec. 23, re-signed Dec. 29 and released again on Jan. 6.

Leglue, a second-year pro out of Tulane, was a late addition to the Steelers’ practice squad, signing with the team on Dec. 29 after spending training camp this year with the Green Bay Packers.

Rader, a Youngstown State and Pine-Richland grad, just finished his second season with the Steelers and third in the NFL. He spent almost the entire 2019 season on the practice squad and this season was elevated to the active roster for the regular season finale against Cleveland and the Wild Card game. At Cleveland, he made three special teams tackles.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Tegray Scales (40) practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex preparing for a Week 11 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 in Pittsburgh, PA. (Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers)

Scales joined the team mid-season after spending training camp with the club in 2019 and playing with the Dallas Renegades of the XFL in the spring of 2020. He was added to the practice squad on Nov. 11 and elevated to the active roster on Dec. 13. Scales played in four games, primarily on special teams, without recording any statistics.

Taylor, a rookie free agent from Kentucky, spent the entire 2020 season on the Steelers’ practice squad.

Waitman, a rookie free agent from South Alabama, also spent the entire season on the practice squad.

Walton, a Florida Atlantic grad, was originally with the Buffalo Bills as a rookie free agent, but joined the Steelers practice squad on Sept. 19 and remained there the rest of the season.

White joined the Steelers practice squad just after training camp ended on Sept. 24. He was with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants earlier in the offseason, his first in the pro ranks out of Michigan State.

Williams was the last addition to the Steelers before the end of the season, signing with the practice squad on Jan. 6. In his fifth pro season in 2020, he also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams was with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 and spent three seasons with the Chargers after going undrafted out of Penn State.

Six players that ended the 2020 season on the Steelers practice squad were not re-signed for 2021: wide receiver Deon Cain, quarterback Devlin Hodges, tight end Charles Jones, guard/tackle Jarron Jones, running back Wendell Smallwood and kicker Matthew Wright.

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