Steelers Work Out Free Agent Wide Receiver


Duane Burleson/Getty Images Wide receiver Cody White #7, playing for Michigan State against Maryland in 2019.

Today the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in yet another free agent wide receiver for a workout. This time it was Cody White, who was invited to the 2020 NFL Combine but went undrafted out of Michigan State. At 6-3 and 217 pounds, White is a big receiver, but his speed is suspect, as he posted just a 4.66 40-yard dash time at the Combine.

White signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft, but was waived by the Chiefs in late July and went on to sign with the New York Giants on August 11. He lasted just a week with the Giants, having been waived on August 16.

Cody White’s Career at Michigan State

However, White was highly productive at Michigan State. He played in 35 games and made 26 starts, finishing his Spartans career seventh in MSU history with 143 receptions, ahead of the likes of former top 10 NFL draft picks like Charles Rodgers and former Steeler Plaxico Burress, not to mention former Steelers wide receiver Courtney Hawkins.

White also finished his Michigan State career 12th all-time in receiving yards and tied for 16th all-time in pass receiving touchdowns. He has experience as a punt returner as well, albeit limited experience.

He had 66 catches for 922 yards and six touchdowns during his final college season, then gambled by deciding to leave Michigan State a year early. It was a questionable decision at the time, but perhaps not as much so now in light of the pandemic.

The Steelers have now brought in three wide receivers for tryouts in the past two days. On Monday they worked out two receivers, Ray-Ray McCloud III, a former sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills, and DeAndrew White, who came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama.

Steelers Contemplating a JuJu Smith-Schuster Trade?

With all the attention being paid to free agent wide receivers, one wonders if the Steelers might be contemplating a trade involving JuJu Smith-Schuster. No doubt the Steelers would prefer to keep Smith-Schuster long-term, but impending salary cap issues make it almost inevitable that the Steelers are going to lose key unrestricted free agents after the season. And the Steelers have young, up-and-coming wide receivers like Diontae Johnson and rookie second-round pick Chase Claypool, who could soften the blow of losing a talent like Smith-Schuster. (It was just yesterday that veteran Steelers cornerback Joe Haden said that Claypool is ‘going to be a problem’ for defenders around the NFL, thanks to his rare combination of size, speed and work ethic.)

By contrast, the Steelers don’t have anyone ready to step in to replace defensive end Cameron Heyward, who is the team’s most valuable pending unrestricted free agent.

Pittsburgh’s top 5 pending unrestricted free agents entering 2021 also include running back James Conner and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

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