Steelers Terminate Veteran Linebacker, Sign 4 UDFAs

Nick Sciba and Tyler Snead

Getty Images Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba (left) and East Carolina wide receiver Tyler Snead (right).

On Monday May 16, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signing of four rookie undrafted free agents, including former Assumption University cornerback Carlins Platel and former Arizona Wildcats defensive lineman Trevon Mason. Also added to the 90-man roster: East Carolina wide receiver/kick returner Tyler Snead and Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba.

All four attended this past weekend’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, four of 28 players to do so, a group that included linebacker Gavin Greene, the son of late Steelers Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, as well as linebacker Damani Staley, the son of former Steelers running back Duce Staley.

10-Year Veteran John Simon Loses His Roster Spot

The team had to make accompanying roster moves in order to add each of the above-named players. Most notably, the Steelers terminated the contract of vested veteran linebacker John Simon, a former fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens who has also played for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, the Steelers also waived wide receiver Rico Bussey and placekicker Sam Sloman. Bussey flashed greatness early in training camp last summer and signed a one-year Reserve/Futures contract with the team in January 2022.

Sloman is a former seventh-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams who has kicked for both the Rams and Tennessee Titans. He was on and off Pittsburgh’s practice squad several times during the second half of the 2021 season, but the Steelers never needed him to fill in for Chris Boswell.

Finally, promising rookie undrafted free agent cornerback Bryce Watts (UMass) — who recently proclaimed himself “the best corner in this draft class” — was waived injured, suggesting that he got hurt sometime during this past weekend’s minicamp.

The latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!

Wide Receiver/Kick Returner Tyler Snead

As for the team’s newest addition at wide receiver, that would be East Carolina’s Tyler Snead — 5-foot-7 and 174 pounds — who is said to “couple an undersized frame with an oversized desire to complete.”

His Pirates bio also reveals that he caught 162 passes for 1,881 yards and 16 touchdowns in 31 games played. In addition, he returned two of his 53 kickoff career kickoff returns for touchdowns, averaging 20.6 yards per return along the way. Overall, Snead had less success as a punt returner, but did average 16 yards per punt return in 2020. He also threw three touchdown passes over the course of his college career and ran for another score.

Snead had two years of eligibility left when he decided to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Placekicker Nick Sciba

Finally, there’s Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba, who at 5-foot-9 and 191 pounds, is also undersized for his position.

But he’s the most accurate kicker in NCAA, ACC and Wake Forest history, with 89.9% of his field goals made. He also holds NCAA, ACC and Wake Forest records for most consecutive field goals made (34). He finished his Demon Deacons career 80-of-89 on field goal attempts, converted 100% of his extra-point attempts, and ended his career with a school record 433 points.

The question is whether Sciba has the leg strength to become a regular NFL kicker. The longest field-goal attempt he converted during his college career was 49 yards. And he only kicked off for the Demon Deacons for one year — 2019. Only 15 of his 75 kickoffs went for touchbacks and three of his kicks went out of bounds.

Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Antonio Brown Makes Plea to Steelers in Viral Tweet
Steelers’ Kenny Pickett Reveals That Ben Roethlisberger Reached out Following Draft
‘Explosive Edge Talent’ Named Steelers’ UDFA to Watch
Steelers Waive Guard to Make Room for Ex-Panthers, Chargers Tackle
Steelers’ Kenny Pickett Reveals That Ben Roethlisberger Reached out Following Draft

Read More