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Steelers to Release WR/KR Gunner Olszewski



Steelers WR Gunner Olszewski
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and kick returner Gunner Olszewski against the Buffalo Bills on Aug. 18, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to release veteran wide receiver Gunner Olszewski, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. 

The Steelers are expected to get Diontae Johnson back from the injured reserve list before their Week 7 game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday and need to clear a spot on the 53-man roster. 

Olszewski had been a healthy scratch in Week 1 when the Steelers had a full complement of wide receivers, but an injury to tight end Pat Freiermuth will make it difficult for the team to carry six wide receivers this week. 

Olszewski also did not play well when given an opportunity due to injuries. He caught a kickoff that was going out of bounds, costing his team 30 yards, and fumbled a catch and a punt return, losing them both. 

In addition to his tenuous grip on a roster spot, Olszewski had been set to earn $1.4 million in salary this season, nearly double an entry-level contract. 

The Steelers signed Olszewski to a two-year contract last spring with the intention of him replacing Ray-Ray McCloud as a slot receiver and return man. He lost his punt return job to Steven Sims early last season and only kept his receiving role because the team traded away Chase Claypool. 

In 18 games with the Steelers, he caught six passes for 53 yards, ran eight times for 39 yards, returned nine punts for 63 yards and two kickoff returns for 24 yards. He had four total fumbles. 

Assuming that Johnson is added to the active roster, the Steelers will have five wide receivers available on Sunday against the Rams, with Johnson, joining George Pickens, Calvin Austin III, Allen Robinson II, and Miles Boykin. 

Dez Fitzpatrick, Denzel Mims and Duece Watts are on the practice squad.