The 49ers brought in a trio of wide receivers for a workout: Tavon Austin, Donte Moncrief and J.J. Nelson. WR remains a position of focus until Deebo Samuel recovers from his foot injury.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 13, 2020
The 49ers must be really desperate for help at that position because Moncrief has been on the decline for some time now, and his brief stint with the Steelers in 2019 was nothing short of disastrous.
Steelers Signed Donte Moncrief in 2019
The Steelers signed Moncrief to a two-year $9 million contract in March 2019. He had been mostly successful in his two previous NFL stops after being a third-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, a product of Ole Miss. During four seasons in Indianapolis he played in 53 games and made 27 starts, catching a total of 152 passes for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Then he moved on the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he caught 48 passes for 668 yards and three touchdowns in 2018.
But his stint with the Steelers was freakishly bad. He suffered a dislocated middle finger in training camp and things went downhill from there. He dropped four passes in a season-opening blowout loss to the New England Patriots and was responsible for Mason Rudolph’s first career interception in a week two defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, which basically got him relegated to the bench, when he was active at all.
In the end, Moncrief caught a total of four passes for 18 yards before the Steelers waived him in November of last year, a move necessary to save the compensatory third-round draft pick the Steelers expected to come their way in the 2020 draft—a pick that was used to select outside linebacker Alex Highsmith.
After he was released by the Steelers the Carolina Panthers picked him up on waivers, but Moncrief lasted little more than a month with the Panthers before being cut.
Donte Moncrief the Team’s Second-Biggest ‘Dead Money’ Liability in 2020
But just because he’s no longer on the team doesn’t mean that Moncrief has stopped hurting the Steelers. He’s the team’s second-biggest ‘dead money’ liability on their salary cap, counting $1.75 million in 2020. Only former linebacker Mark Barron counts for more dead money this year, at $2.875 million. Those two players together make up more than half of the Steelers’ dead money in 2020, which totals a relatively paltry $9 million and change.
Houston Texans Sign Former Steelers Offensive Tackle
In other news, the Houston Texans recently signed former Pittsburgh offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins, who was a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2016, taken 123rd overall. The former Louisiana State University product played in five games for Pittsburgh in 2017, making one start, but injuries—including a torn quadriceps suffered in the spring of 2018—limited his opportunities.
Last summer the Steelers traded Hawkins and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2021 sixth-round selection, but Hawkins only appeared in one game for the Bucs.
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