Pittsburgh Steelers Urged To Consider Intriguing Wide Receiver Option

Richie James, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers made some big moves with their offense. The biggest was overhauling the quarterback depth chart.

Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph are all gone. In their place, the team signed Russell Wilson and acquired Justin Fields in a trade with the Chicago Bears.

The floor and ceiling at quarterback is now in its best position since Ben Roethlisberger retired from the NFL. But, there are still some questions that need to be answered about this offseason.

Namely, who is going to step up alongside George Pickens at wide receiver? The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran Allen Robinson and traded Dionte Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

That is part of the reason why Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report has urged the team to make a signing ahead of training camp. He has suggested veteran Richie James as a target for the team.

“Pittsburgh might have functional depth in Van Jefferson, Scotty Miller, Calvin Austin III and rookie Roman Wilson. It would still be wise to take a look at former New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs receiver Richie James, however.

Over the past two seasons, James returned 44 punts and nine kickoffs. He’s also spent time on special teams in all five of his pro campaigns. The Steelers added Cordarrelle Patterson to help boost its return game, but the modified kicking rules will make it important to have two capable returners on the field during kickoffs,” wrote Knox.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could kill two birds with one stone by signing James. He would provide the team with more solid depth at wide receiver while providing an experienced player on special teams.

Given the changes to the kickoff rules, more of an emphasis will be put on the return game. Adding James would give the Steelers two strong options to rely on along with Cordarrelle Patterson.

Rumors have swirled that the Pittsburgh Steelers have looked to the trade market to find a wide receiver. They have been connected to Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers, along with Courtland Sutton of the Denver Broncos.

That could be why they didn’t jump into the free agent pool more aggressively for a Johnson replacement opposite Pickens. If a trade isn’t in the works, bringing in a reliable veteran such as James makes a lot of sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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