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Veteran WR Steelers Really Wanted Slipped Away



Mike Williams Wide Receiver

Longtime Steelers insider Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette doesn’t envision anymore major moves by the Steelers this offseason. He thinks a few signings might happen, but they won’t be noteworthy trades or signings.

“It won’t ignite to the point of what we just witnessed,” Dulac wrote in his latest Q&A.

Dulac also noted that the Steelers are most likely done adding free-agent wide receivers, despite the fact that Tyler Boyd and Odell Beckham Jr. are still available. They’ve turned their attention to the draft to bolster the position.

“No, they have their vet WRs with Quez Watkins and Van Jefferson. If they draft a WR high, which I expect, I think that will be the end,” Dulac wrote.

Dulac says the Steelers really wanted former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams, but he ended up signing with the New York Jets.

“And they’ve already signed two, though not the one they would’ve liked — Mike Williams,” Dulac wrote in response to another question about if the Steelers were looking to add another free-agent wide receiver.

Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan reported on Tuesday that the Steelers offered Boyd a two-year contract in the range of $10 million. The two sides couldn’t compromise on compensation, however. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic has heard that the “ship has sailed” between Boyd and the Steelers.

The Steelers’ wide receivers room has a significant lack of depth right now. George Pickens and Calvin Austin III are their only returning receivers that received playing time in 2023.

So far, the Steelers have brought wide receivers Ricky Pearsall of Florida, Xavier Legette of South Carolina, Malachi Corley of Western Kentucky, Tahj Washington of USC and Luke McCaffrey of Rice in for pre-draft visits.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hinted at the NFL owner’s meetings that the wide receiver position most likely will be addressed in the draft. This year’s draft is loaded at receiver, and it’s a position that the Steelers typically do well at in the mid-to-late rounds. Selecting Antonio Brown in the sixth round in 2010 is a prime example.

“You know, we’ve got a lot of options there,” Tomlin said about the wide receiver position at the NFL owner’s meetings. “There’s still a lot of capable guys on the market. The draft is probably unusually deep at that position and has been for the last several years. I just think that receivers and those that cover them come probably a little bit more ready in today’s game than maybe in year’s past. I think it’s the evolution of seven-on-seven football for high school kids. I just think their development, the skills relative to their positions come with a higher floor. Much like AAU Basketball probably transformed basketball. I think seven-on-seven has had a significant impact on the passing game and those that participate in it. And I think that’s why there’s always a lot of wide outs that appear to be game ready, corners that appear to be game ready. They’re playing football and working on skills relative to football over the course of a 12-month calendar during significant developmental age groups now.”