Steelers Urged to Consider Speedy Record-Holding WR

Mike Tomlin

Getty Head coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are being encouraged to target a wide receiver in NFL free agency.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could use another wide receiver on the roster for the 2023 season. While rumors have swirled that the Steelers should pursue veteran stars such as DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr., a wideout who can be signed for a bargain is a lot more likely.

Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey argued that the bargain wide receiver the Steelers should consider in free agency is Olamide Zaccheaus.

“Olamide Zaccheaus is coming off his best NFL season,” Tansey wrote. “He caught 40 balls for 533 receiving yards with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Zaccheaus would be a nice No. 3 option to have in addition to the top two pass-catchers on the roster.”

One of Zaccheaus’ best assets is his speed. As a rookie in 2019, he hauled in a 93-yard touchdown pass, which was the longest touchdown reception in the NFL that year. It was also the third-longest reception in Atlanta Falcons team history.

How Olamide Zaccheaus Fits With the Steelers

Signing Zaccheaus wouldn’t draw the same attention as acquiring Hopkins or Beckham, but he appears to be a great fit for the Steelers offense.

For most of his tenure with the Falcons, Zaccheaus served as a third or fourth wide receiver option. He took the top off defenses at times while also being a reliable target when needed.

Zaccheaus has averaged under 14 yards per reception each of the last three years. But in 2020, 2021 and 2022, Zaccheaus posted at least one catch each season of at least 45 yards.

He also has a career catch percentage of 62.3%.

Zaccheaus’ first big play of his career was the 93-yard touchdown during Week 14 of the 2019 season. It was 1 of only 3 receptions he had that season, but it remains the longest pass of Matt Ryan’s career.

Since then, Zaccheaus’ role in the Falcons offense grew every year. As Tansey detailed, he reached 40 receptions and 533 receiving yards in 17 games last season.

It shouldn’t take much to add the veteran for depth and another deep-threat option. Spotrac projected Zaccheaus’ market value to be $7.5 million on a two-year deal.

Steelers’ Wide Receiver Depth

The Steelers have built a collection of young talent on offense with Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris.

But in the modern NFL, it’s never enough.

“You can never have enough wide-receiver depth in the AFC, and a cheap deal for Zaccheaus would give the Steelers another pass-catching option out of the slot who could take some pressure off their top two wideouts,” wrote Tansey.

Calvin Austin III could be another guy who takes pressure off the Steelers’ top weapons, but he’s an unproven commodity attempting to come back from a season-ending injury. Zaccheaus is a known asset who could help immediately.

The idea of keeping up with the offensive powerhouses in the AFC is why the Steelers have been connected to Hopkins and Beckham this offseason. But Pittsburgh could have trouble fitting either of those veterans under the salary cap.

Spotrac reported the Steelers have a little more than $11 million in salary cap space remaining for the 2023 season.

Acquiring Hopkins or Beckham could also offset what the Steelers have already built at receiver because both of those veterans are used to No. 1 receiver roles.

Pittsburgh doesn’t need a top wideout or even a No. 2. That’s what makes Zaccheaus arguably the most natural fit.

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