Steelers Add ‘Field-Stretching’ WR, 16 Other Players on Reserve/Future Contracts

Marquez Callaway

Getty The Pittsburgh Steelers signed 17 players, including wide receiver Marquez Callaway, to reserve/future contracts on January 17.

In preparation for the offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced signing 17 players to reserve/future contracts on January 17. Many of those players finished the season on the team’s practice squad, but a player the Steelers signed to one of those deals who wasn’t previously with the team was veteran wide receiver Marquez Callaway.

“Originally signed with the New Orleans Saints as an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft,” Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley wrote. “He led the team in receiving yards (698) and receiving touchdowns (six) in 2021, setting career-highs in both categories, as well as receptions (46).”

Callaway played three games for the Saints during the 2023 season, but he didn’t record a touch. He spent the second half of the season on New Orleans’ practice squad.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein described Callaway as a “one-trick prospect” in his draft evaluation of the wide receiver in 2020. But according to Zierlein, that one trick is “field-stretching ability to work the third level.”


Steelers Sign WR Marquez Callaway to Reserve/Future Contract

Callaway has never appeared in an NFL regular season game for any team other than the Saints. But he spent the 2023 offseason with the Denver Broncos. Then to begin the 2023 regular season, Callaway was on the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad.

He rejoined the Saints practice squad on November 21, 2023.

In 45 career NFL games, Callaway has posted 83 catches for 1,069 yards and 7 touchdowns. He’s also recorded 149 return yards on 14 punts and 94 return yards on 4 kickoffs.

In April 2020, Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora compared Callaway to former Steelers wide receiver James Washington. In four seasons with the Steelers, Washington had 114 receptions for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns.


Steelers Also Sign 16 Other Players to Reserve/Future Contracts

Callaway may have been the most notable outside name the Steelers signed to a reserve/future contract on January 17. But the team also added 16 other players in the same fashion.

Those players included cornerback Luq Barcoo, offensive tackle Tyler Beach, fullback Jack Colletto, offensive tackle Kellen Diesch, safety Jalen Elliott, guard Joey Fisher, wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, offensive tackle Devery Hamilton, offensive tackle Anderson Hardy, wide receiver Keilahn Harris, defensive lineman Jonathan Marshall, center Ryan McCollum, wide receiver Denzel Mims, running back Aaron Shampklin, defensive lineman Jacob Slade, and wide receiver Duece Watts.

Of those 16 other players, the most notable name is Mims. A former New York Jets second-round pick from the 2020 NFL draft, analysts connected the Steelers to Mims in trade rumors during the 2023 summer. The Jets, though, traded Mims to the Detroit Lions on July 20.

But less than a month later, the Lions waived Mims, placed him on injured reserve and then waived him again due to injury. He joined the Steelers practice squad on October 3.

Mims’ second-round status makes him one of the most intriguing players the Steelers signed to a reserve/future contract on January 17. But Mims didn’t play at all in 2023 and has significantly underachieved in his NFL career.

The Steelers didn’t elevate him from their practice squad for any regular season contest during 2023.

Kozora noted that the Steelers didn’t sign five notable practice squad players on January 17. Those players were nose tackle Breiden Fehoko, running back Anthony McFarland Jr., linebacker David Perales, linebacker Jaylon Smith and punter Brad Wing.

But Kozora left open the possibility of those players signing future deals with Pittsburgh.

“It’s possible those players and others are added later in the coming days, though players with more pedigree like Fehoko and McFarland may weigh their options elsewhere,” wrote Kozora.

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