Steelers Sign XFL Receiving TDs Leader
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed the XFL’s receiving touchdown leader Hakeem Butler to a contract on Tuesday.
The Steelers invited the former fourth-round pick for a tryout at the team’s rookie minicamp but Butler did not attend. Many people considered Butler as one of the favorites to earn a roster spot among the tryout players heading into the weekend.
Despite the no-show, the Steelers will still give Butler a chance to prove himself.
The Steelers may have leaked their interest to sign Butler prior to the rookie minicamp when general manager Omar Khan mentioned Butler as one of the team’s receiving options for 2023 in an interview on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday.
The 6-foot-5 receiver led the XFL with eight touchdown receptions to go along with 51 catches and 599 yards. Butler played for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL and ended up as one of the top wide receivers in the entire league.
The Arizona Cardinals selected Butler in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and was released before the 2020 season. Butler joined the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles for brief stints before exiting the NFL altogether. Butler played in two NFL games but failed to record a reception.
In 2022, Butler joined the CFL and played for the Edmonton Elks and British Columbia Lions at different points of the season.
It is safe to say that Butler played his best football during his time in the XFL since his junior season at Iowa State in 2018 in which he caught 60 receptions for 1,318 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Steelers decided to not draft a wide receiver in the draft and did not sign any undrafted free agents to address the depth problem at the position. The Steelers owned five open roster spots heading into the rookie minicamp and now have filled three of them. The team signed running back Alfonzo Graham on Sunday after his tryout at the team’s rookie minicamp and re-signed quarterback Mason Rudolph earlier this week.