The Pittsburgh Steelers signed four players, including former Imani Christian and West Virginia safety Kenny Robinson, to reserve/future contracts for the 2023 season, the team announced on Wednesday.
The Steelers also signed wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, cornerback Madre Harper and cornerback Chris Wilcox.
Robinson is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety that just finished his third pro season. Robinson left West Virginia early after the 2019 season and played in the spring of 2020 with the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL.
After his XFL season, Robinson was drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Robinson did not mark the Panthers’ 53-man roster coming out of training camp, but hung around on the practice squad and ended up playing nine games in 2020 and 10 more in 2021.
Robinson had three separate stints on the Carolina practice squad this season, but was not called up to play in any games. In 19 total games, Robinson has 18 tackles. He played over 50% of Carolina’s special teams snaps in games he played.
Robinson played two seasons at West Virginia, and was a two-time All-Big 12 honoree. He started as a true freshman in 2017 and was the sixth-leading tackler on the Mountaineer with 46 stops. The also had three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
In 2018, he was a first-team all conference and was second in the league in interceptions with four. He was also second on the WVU team with 77 total tackles.
A Wilkinsburg native, Robinson graduated from Imani Christian Academy in Pittsburgh’s East Hills. Before that he played for University Prep in the Pittsburgh City League.
The Steelers have significant uncertainty at their safety position for 2023, where starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds and top backup Damontae Kazee are both unrestricted free agents, as is fellow West Virginia alum Karl Joseph, who spent the entire 2022 season on the Steelers’ injured reserve list. Scott Nelson was signed from the team’s practice squad to a 2023 future contract on Tuesday.
Fitzpatrick is a 6-foot-2, 208-pound Louisville alum that is entering his third pro season. Fitzpatrick spent his first two seasons with the Tennessee Titans after they selected him in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
He played in four games in 2021 and one in 2022, catching five passes for 49 yards and one touchdown. Robinson joins Cody White and Ja’Marcus Bradley from the Steelers practice squad as wide receivers signed to future contracts for 2023.
Harper also comes to the Steelers from the Carolina Panthers, where he spent the entire season on the practice squad without playing in a game. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound Oklahoma State and Southern Illinois alum first signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and also had a stop with the New York Giants.
Harper played nine games with the Giants in 2020 and three with the Panthers in 2021. He has five career tackles and one fumble recovery. With Carolina, he played exclusively on special teams.
Wilcox, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound BYU product, was a seventh-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. He never made the Bucs squad, but was claimed on waivers by the Indianapolis Colts, where he spent most of the 2021 season on the practice squad, but did not appear in a game.
The Colts released Wilcox from their practice squad this Sept. 13. He was signed by hte Arizona Cardinals to their practice squad on Dec. 28 for the final weeks of the season.
Harper and Wilcox join Duke Dawson from the practice squad as cornerback signed by the Steelers to future contracts for the 2023 season.