The Steelers signed four players to future contracts for the 2021 season on Thursday, including former Washington first-round pick, quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
The team also announced the singings of defensive back Stephen Denmark and tight ends Charles Jones and Dax Raymond on Thursday afternoon.
Denmark, 24, was a seventh-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in the 2019 NFL Draft and spent the last two seasons with Chicago and the Cleveland Browns. He was released from Chicago’s practice squad on Oct. 5, signed to Cleveland’s on Nov. 10 and then cut by the Browns on Dec. 1.
A 6-foot-3, 220-pound cornerback from Valdosta (Ga.) State, Denmark has never played in an NFL game. At Valdosta State, he moved from wide receiver to defense in his senior season, when he played 14 games and recorded 55 tackles, eight for a loss, had one sacks, three interceptions, 12 passes defended and forced one fumble as Valdosta went on to win the NCAA Division II championship.
Former Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend, now Chicago’s secondary coach, scouted Denmark for the Bears.
Jones finished the 2020 season on the Steelers’ practice squad. He originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane in 2019 and spent most of his rookie season on practice squad.
In 2020, he was waived by the Jaguars with an injury settlement. He spent three days on the Buffalo Bills practice squad before catching on with the Steelers on Nov. 17.
Jones has appeared in four career NFL games, all in 2019 with Jacksonville. He has one catch on one target for five yards and also played 10 snaps of special teams without recording any statistics. At Tulane, Jones caught 61 passes for 460 yards and eight touchdowns over four seasons, but his productivity declined in his junior and senior seasons.
Raymond will join the Steelers for a second stint. He signed with the team late in training camp after being released by the Chicago Bears, but was injured and waived with an injury settlement before the start of the season.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end originally signed with the Bears as an undrafted rookie out of Utah State in 2019. He suffered a head injury in Chicago’s fourth preseason game and he was placed on the injured reserve, then later waived with an injury settlement and re-signed to Chicago’s practice squad. He finished the 2019 preseason with three catches for 22 yards.
At Utah State, Raymond was a two-year starter, grabbing 72 balls for 873 yards and three touchdowns in his career. He was a two-time All-Mountain West selection.