Steelers Sign TE Darnell Washington to Rookie Contract
The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially agreed to terms with Darnell Washington on a rookie contract, according to a tweet posted by the Steelers.
The Steelers selected Washington with the 93rd overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.
While the exact details of Washington’s contract remain unavailable, Over The Cap estimated that the four year deal is worth $5.35 million with a signing bonus of about $893,000.
Many scouts believed that Washington could have gone as high as the first round, and had a mid-second round floor on the 21-year-old tight end. The former Georgia Bulldog only fell to the end of the third round due to medical concerns surrounding his knee.
After the Steelers drafted him, Washington refuted the idea of his knees being an issue.
“I had no injuries with my knees, never. Knock on wood. I never tore anything in the knees, anything like that. I only had a knee surgery on the right knee, but that was just cartilage flared up,” said Washington.
One NFL scout backed Washington’s defense as the scout mentioned that Washington could easily play in the NFL for at least eight seasons.
At Georgia, Washington was not a big-play type of tight end but rather used as a run blocker for a majority of his snaps. In 2022, Washington hauled in 28 receptions for 454 yards and two touchdowns.
Washington is a massive tight end prospect as he measured 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds at the NFL Combine. With Washington’s height and weight nearing those of most offensive linemen, his athletic ability is what is most appealing to the Steelers.
In his first season as a member of the Steelers, Washington is likely to slot in as Pat Friermuth’s backup at tight end.
With the addition of Washington and the re-signing of Zach Gentry in the offseason, Connor Heyward is likely to switch to a fullback type of role.
Whatever Washington’s role actually is, the Steelers will not waste anytime getting the mammoth tight end onto the field.