Former Steelers Try Out with Titans, Texans

JJ-Wilcox-Artie-Burns-Steelers

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images J.J. Wilcox of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chris Matthews of the Baltimore Ravens fight for the ball at M&T Bank Stadium on October 1, 2017.

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t made any roster moves in recent days, a mild surprise in light of the recent arrest of practice squad OT Jarron Jones. But several former Steelers who have been trying to catch on with other NFL teams this season have continued their quest.


Long Snapper Colin Holba

As noted by today’s NFL tryout and visit list (above), one of those players is LS Colin Holba, who had a tryout with the Tennessee Titans.

Holba was Pittsburgh’s sixth-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he failed to make Pittsburgh’s opening day roster that year. He has since spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Giants and had a workout with the Arizona Cardinals in late August.

The Titans are in need of a long snapper because their longtime LS Beau Brinkley was added to the team’s COVID-19 reserve list on September 29th. Brinkley has handled all of Tennessee’s long snapping duties since he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri following the 2012 NFL Draft. That’s a streak of 131 games that will likely be, uh, snapped this weekend when the Titans host the Buffalo Bills.


Tight End Dax Raymond

Another ex-Steeler who had a tryout today was tight end Dax Raymond. Pittsburgh was excited to add Raymond during this summer’s training camp, as he had attracted interest from other NFL teams.

Raymond (6-4 and 245 pounds) is a former college teammate of Green Bay Packers first-round pick Jordan Love. He was signed by the Chicago Bears last year after going undrafted out of Utah State but suffered a head injury in the Bears’ preseason finale against the Titans, at which point he was placed on injured reserve and waived injured. He was later added to the Chicago’s practice squad but never appeared in a regular season game.

In 27 career games at Utah State, Raymond caught 72 passes for 873 yards and three touchdowns.

He spent just a month with the Steelers this summer before getting waived injured, replaced by tight end Kyle Markway.


Safety J.J. Wilcox

Finally, the Atlanta Falcons had former Steelers safety J.J. Wilcox in for a visit today.

Wilcox was a third-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. Wilcox has spent the majority of his career with the Cowboys but played in 12 games for the Steelers in 2017, making one start and contributing 12 total tackles.

Wilcox recently had a tryout with the Indianapolis Colts, for whom he played in 2018. He signed with the Falcons in April 2019 but suffered a torn ACL in training camp and missed all of the 2019 season. In August of this year he re-signed with Atlanta, only to be released in early September.


QB Trey Lance Declares for 2021 NFL Draft

It’s also worth noting that quarterback Trey Lance declared for the 2021 NFL Draft on Tuesday.

As I noted back in May, Lance has a throwing motion not unlike that of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and is a potential replacement for Roethlisberger, assuming he falls out of the Top 10 in the 2021 draft.

Lance played one game for the North Dakota State Bison this year, throwing two touchdown passes and running for two more in a 39-28 win over Central Arkansas. He finished his college career with a 17-0 record, completing 208 of 318 passes (65.4%), including 30 touchdown passes and just a single interception.

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