Rams Sign Former Steelers Draft Pick to Reserve/Futures Contract

Antoine Brooks vs JuJu Smith-Schuster

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images JuJu Smith-Schuster (#19) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against Antoine Brooks Jr. (#25) during Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at Heinz Field on July 29, 2021.

With Super Bowl LVI now in the rear-view mirror, every NFL team has signed its share of players to Reserve/Futures contracts. That includes the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, who have signed several individuals whose names ought to be familiar to Pittsburgh Steelers fans, including safety/cornerback Antoine Brooks Jr., a former Steelers sixth-round pick out of Maryland in 2020 (No. 198 overall).

Brooks, 23, appeared in four regular-season games for the Steelers as a rookie, playing 29 snaps on defense and 10 more on special teams. Last season he entered training camp as the prohibitive favorite to replace Mike Hilton at slot cornerback, but he suffered what was described as a “minor injury” on July 25. He went on to miss the next two preseason games and was waived/injured less than a month later, during the second round of roster cuts.


Antoine Brooks Just Won a Super Bowl Ring With the Rams

Brooks landed on his feet, however, signing to the Rams’ practice squad just days after being waived from Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list with an injury settlement. He appeared in two games with the Rams as a practice squad elevation before being added to the team’s 53-man roster on November 9, 2021.

All told, he played in eight regular-season games for the Rams, with all 139 of his snaps—and three tackles—coming on special teams. He was waived from the active roster prior to the NFC Championship game but re-signed to the practice squad before Super Bowl LVI. This past Monday, Maryland Football tweeted a video clip of Brooks celebrating his team’s Super Bowl victory.

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2 Other Ex-Steelers Have Signed Reserve/Futures Contracts

On February 15 the Rams signed one other player whose name may be vaguely familiar to Pittsburgh fans, that being tight end Kyle Markway, who was signed by the Steelers in August 2020 but he failed to make the roster that year.

Meanwhile, on February 16 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed offensive tackle Brandon Walton to a Reserve/Futures contract. Pittsburgh signed Walton to its practice squad in September 2020, with the former undrafted free agent having played his college ball at Florida Atlantic, the same school that produced Steelers cornerback James Pierre. Walton went on to sign a one-year Reserve/Future contract with the Steelers in January 2021 but was waived by the team seven months later.

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LB Devin Bush’s 5th-Year Option

The window is now open for the Steelers to pick up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of 2019 first-round pick Devin Bush Jr. The Steelers have until May 2, 2022, to exercise that option. Otherwise Bush, an inside linebacker, will become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Last year the Steelers declined to pick up the fifth-year option on 2018 first-round pick Terrell Edmunds. Unless he signs a new contract before then, Edmunds will become an unrestricted free agent in March.


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