In early September the Pittsburgh Steelers cut wide receiver Ryan Switzer, this despite his assertion that he was well on his way to becoming the next Julian Edelman, a boast that was mocked on social media. As it turns it, he became expendable after the Steelers signed WR Ray-Ray McCloud and it became obvious that McCloud was a much better kick returner.
Switzer has been unemployed ever since, but today Neal Coolong, senior editor of NFL sites with USA TODAY Sports Media Group, tweeted that Switzer has had a tryout with the Cleveland Browns.
Ryan Switzer’s NFL Career
Ryan Switzer came into the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2017. He lasted just one season with the Cowboys, serving primarily as a punt and kickoff returner. In April 2018 he was traded to the Raiders for defensive lineman Jihad Ward. Just four months later, the Raiders traded Switzer and a 2019 6th-round pick to the Steelers for a 2019 5th-round pick.
Switzer spent two seasons in Pittsburgh, where he handled kickoff and punt return duties and functioned as a depth wide receiver. His best season came in 2018 when he returned 60 kicks for a total of 859 yards. That year he also caught 36 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown.
As crazy as his “next Edelman” claim might sound, it’s not entirely outlandish when you consider that Switzer and Edelman produced comparable numbers through their first three seasons in the NFL. In fact, Switzer had more catches than Edelman, 50 to 48, during the time frames in question.
Ex-Steelers Around the NFL
In other news from Wednesday, the Denver Broncos placed former Steelers linebacker Mark Barron on injured reserve. As such, he can return no earlier than Denver’s week six game against the Miami Dolphins.
Denver signed Barron in late August in hopes of shoring up its depth at linebacker, but he didn’t appear in either of Denver’s first two games because of a hamstring injury.
Barron played inside linebacker for the Steelers in 2019. He was a salary cap casualty this spring and now accounts for more dead money on Pittsburgh’s 2020 salary cap than any other former player, including former wide receiver Donte Moncrief.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts had former Steelers safety J.J. Wilcox in for a tryout on Wednesday.
Wilcox has spent the majority of his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys but played in 12 games for the Steelers in 2017, making one start and contributing 12 tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and one interception.
Last but not least, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Steelers defensive back Ross Cockrell to their practice squad.
Cockrell played cornerback for the Steelers in 2014 and 2015, starting 23 of 31 games, recording 106 total tackles and 25 passes defensed while collecting two interceptions and recovering two fumbles. Since leaving Pittsburgh, Cockrell has spent time with both the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.
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