Steelers Host Free Agent Wide Receiver

Cody-White

Duane Burleson/Getty Images Wide receiver Cody White #7, playing for Michigan State against Maryland in 2019.

Yesterday seven-year veteran nose tackle Dan McCullers terminated his contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, leaving a surprise opening on the team’s 16-man practice squad.

With an eye toward possibly filling that vacancy, the Steelers had free agent wide receiver Cody White in for a visit on Tuesday, as per Houston Texans beat reporter Aaron Wilson and Tuesday’s NFL workouts/visits report.

White, who was invited to the 2020 NFL Combine but went undrafted out of Michigan State, is not an entirely unfamiliar face to general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers had White in for a workout in August, around the same time that they decided to sign wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III, who is now the team’s No. 1 kickoff returner.

At 6-foot-3, White is a big receiver, but his sluggish 4.66 40-yard dash time at the Combine was a big part of the reason he went undrafted. White signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an UDFA following the draft, but was waived in late July and went on to sign with the New York Giants on August 11. He lasted less than a week with the Giants and then had a tryout with the Denver Broncos on August 21, who signed him two days later. However, he failed to make Denver’s 53-man roster and was waived by the Broncos on September 5th.


Cody White’s Career at Michigan State

Cody White played in 35 games and made 26 starts for the Spartans, finishing his college career seventh in MSU history with 143 receptions, ahead of the likes of former top 10 NFL draft picks like Charles Rodgers (Detroit Lions) and Plaxico Burress (Pittsburgh Steelers/New York Giants), not to mention former Steelers wide receiver Courtney Hawkins.

White wrapped up his Michigan State career 12th all-time in receiving yards and tied for 16th all-time in pass receiving touchdowns. He had 66 catches for 922 yards and six touchdowns during his final college season. But it was big gamble to leave MSU a year early, especially when one considers the depth of the 2020 draft class at wide receiver, where an enviable prospect like Chase Claypool was available to the Steelers at pick No. 49.

Cody White’s father, Sheldon, was a defensive back in the NFL for six seasons between 1988 and 1993, spending two years with the New York Giants, three with the Detroit Lions and one with the Cincinnati Bengals. During that time he started seven of 72 games and intercepted 11 passes.


Pittsburgh’s Protected Practice Squad Players (Week Three)

In other practice squad-related news, the Steelers have designated the four practice squad players that they have protected this week, those being:

WR Deon Cain
LB Jayrone Elliott
DL Henry Mondeaux
RB Wendell Smallwood

Dan McCullers is the second veteran player Pittsburgh has lost from its practice squad in the past two weeks. Last week the Arizona Cardinals signed veteran safety Curtis Riley away from the Steelers, a move made less painful by Pittsburgh’s recent re-acquisition of former 2016 second-round draft pick Sean Davis.

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