With the release of Ladarius Green, Steelers’ Nation has understandably turned their attention to any options on the free agent market. That in mind, let’s view the top options out there.
Gary Barnidge – Released by the Cleveland Browns after they drafted David Njoku in the first round. He caught 55 passes for the Browns last year but he clearly regressed: His average dropped from 13.2 to 11.1 from the year prior and touchdowns had a more severe fall, nine to two. Barnidge turns 32 in late September. 22 career receptions and three touchdowns in his career against the Steelers.
Brandon Myers – Also turning 32 in September. Hasn’t had much NFL success as a receiver lately, finishing his time with the Bucs in 2016 with only seven receptions. Had 79 grabs with the Oakland Raiders back in 2012. Good size at 6’4, 250. Not much upside but maybe he comes into camp and compete.
Jacob Tamme – Coming off season ending shoulder surgery. Had 59 receptions for the Falcons in 2015 before Austin Hooper chipped away at his production. Just turned 32. Undersized at 6’3 230.
Larry Donnell – The New York Giants decided not to retain him, drafting Evan Engram in this year’s draft. Great size at 6’6, 265. 15 catches for just 6.1 yards last season. Best days are behind him but big blocker with a receiving resume. Over 100 career receptions. Came back from but suffered a concussion in October. So optics wouldn’t look great. Turns 29 in November.
Jim Dray – The other Browns’ tight end. Pretty much strictly a blocker but the team is familiar with him. Cheap camp add as insurance against David Johnson or if Xavier Grimble flames out.
Wes Saunders – Long shot. 7th round pick of the Steelers in the 2011 draft. Caught four passes and a touchdown with the team his rookie year. Ended up getting suspended and last in the NFL in 2014 with Indy. But got himself in great shape and did make stop to Steelers’ facility earlier in the offseason. Would definitely be outside looking in to make team.