PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have acquired offensive lineman Jesse Davis from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, the team’s second trade acquisition on cut-down day.
Davis, 30, has played both tackle and guard in his seven-year NFL career. He joined the Vikings as an unrestricted free agent this March after having spent the previous six seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
Davis was a five-year starter with Miami. He was the primary starter at right guard in 2017, 2018 and 2020 and right tackle in 2019 and 2021. Davis has also played left guard and left tackle. His best season according to Pro Football Focus came in 2020, when he had 62.6 overall grade. While in Miami, his head coach was current Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores.
The Steelers have had noteworthy struggles on their offensive line through the preseason. It’s unclear where or how Davis could help the team. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada rebuffed a suggestion earlier on Tuesday that Chukwuma Okorafor could move from right tackle to left tackle to solve the team’s problems along the line.
“I don’t view Chuks as just a right tackle,” Canada said. “I think Chuks is really, really talented. But I think right now, we feel like where we are gives us the best chance to win today. That’s where we’re at. I would never pigeonhole us to say we couldn’t do something down the road, but right now that’s where we are.”
The addition of Davis could change those plans and move Okorafor to left tackle to supplant second-year man Dan Moore Jr., who has struggled mightily this offseason. Davis could also slot in at right guard to free up James Daniels to make a move to left guard, where Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green both had issues in their battle to start at that spot.
Davis will earn $1.25 million in salary this season with the Steelers and will be an unrestricted free agent in March. He will leave an $800,000 dead cap hit with Minnesota this season and a $750,000 charge for the 2023 season.
In order to add Davis and get down to the 53-man roster maximum, the Steelers released five players late on Tuesday, including tackles Trent Scott and Joe Haeg.
The Steelers acquired outside linebacker Malik Reed and a 2023 seventh-round pick for their 2023 sixth-round pick in a trade with the Denver Broncos earlier in the day on Tuesday.