On January 17, 2023, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have signed wide receiver Anthony Miller to a one-year contract, adding to a position that lost a significant piece with the midseason trade of Chase Claypool. While Miller’s signing might not attract much media attention, it’s worth noting that the former second-round pick (Chicago Bears, No. 51 overall in 2018) was “on pace to make the 53-man roster” last season, as per Dale Lolley, contributing writer/editor for Steelers.com. That is, until he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during practice in mid-August.
Anthony Miller Has 12 Career TD Receptions
The Steelers originally signed Miller following a successful workout in October 2021. He went on to appear in one game later that year (at Cincinnati), catching a single pass for two yards in 25 offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference (PFR).
Prior to joining the Steelers he played three seasons in Chicago, making 17 starts and recording 134 receptions for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdown catches. In July 2021, he was traded to the Houston Texans for a 2022 fifth-round pick and went on to play in three games for Houston before getting waived. During those three appearances he had six catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Pittsburgh’s Wide Receiver Room in 2023
Miller, 28, rejoins a receiving corps that is headlined by veteran Diontae Johnson and rising sophomore George Pickens. The former had 86 receptions for 882 yards in 2022, while the latter contributed 52 receptions for 801 yards and four touchdowns.
Then there’s 2022 fourth-round pick Calvin Austin III, who hopes to become a big part of the offense in 2023 after suffering a season-ending foot injury in training camp.
Looking further down the depth chart, 2022 free agent acquisition Gunner Olszewski is signed through the 2023 campaign, but he’s scheduled to earn a $2 million salary this coming year, as per overthecap.com. That makes him a likely salary cap casualty, seeing as how he lost his job as primary kick returner to fellow receiver Steven Sims early in the 2022 season. For his part, Sims is a restricted free agent, making it likely that he will be brought back on a one-year deal.
Meanwhile, the Steelers also have three wide receivers on reserve/futures contracts, including former Tennessee Titans fourth-round pick Dez Fitzpatrick and former Cleveland Browns receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley, the latter of whom was a teammate of Steelers left guard Kevin Dotson at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Fitzpatrick, 25, has appeared in five regular-season games and has five career receptions for 49 yards and one touchdown, as per PFR. Bradley, 26, has eight games of regular-season experience and has nine career catches for 124 yards.
Cody White was one of 10 players signed to reserve/futures contracts on Jan. 10, 2023. He’s the son of Steelers Director of Pro Scouting, Sheldon White, who joined the team’s personnel department in May 2022.
It should be interesting to see if the Steelers use a premium pick on a wide receiver in the 2023 draft. The team has seven picks this year, including two in the second round and two in the seventh. The Steelers are without selections in the fifth and sixth rounds as a result of trades for cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and linebacker Malik Reed, respectively.