During what was an otherwise quiet news day, the Pittsburgh Steelers inked four more players to Reserve/Future contracts according to the franchise’s official Twitter feed:
We have signed CB Devin Smith, LB Dan Molls, RB Miguel Maysonet and WR Lanear Sampson to Reserve/Future contracts.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 7, 2014
Devin Smith (5’11” 186 lbs.) was on and off of Pittsburgh’s practice squad throughout the 2013 regular season, so there is a good chance that some of Pittsburgh’s coaches see something in the former Wisconsin Badger. Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen and William Gay are the only cornerbacks on Pittsburgh’s roster with any extensive experience, so Smith could have an outside shot of challenging for a roster spot this fall.
The Miguel Maysonet signing makes plenty of sense with the free agency period on the horizon. Felix Jones, Jonathan Dwyer and LaRod Stephens-Howling will all be unrestricted free agents (UFAs) this March, so the Steelers were wise to bring in more competition for Alvester Alexander during the spring and summer.
Maysonet had an extremely productive college career at Stony Brook, and he rushed for an incredible 1,964 yards and 21 touchdowns during his senior campaign. Despite his solid career, six teams signed and subsequently released Maysonet before Pittsburgh picked him up today. Although the running back is neither large nor particularly fast (5’9″ 209 lbs.), he could be an under-the-radar signing for a running back-needy Steelers.
Bringing Dan Molls into the fold should help a team with a need for inside linebackers like Pittsburgh as well. A tackling machine at Toledo, Molls racked up a nation-leading 166 tackles and 6.0 tackles for loss during the 2012 season. Molls’ lack of size (just under 6′ and 238 lbs.) and quickness led to him going undrafted this past April, and he was released by the San Diego Chargers before the start of the regular season.
Even though the Steelers signed Justin Brown and Kashif Moore to Reserve/Future deals, it apparently did not stop them from adding another wide receiver to the mix in the form of Lanear Sampson.
Although the former Baylor Bear spent most of his collegiate career in the shadows of his teammates like Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams, Sampson carved out a solid career in Waco and recorded career-highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (646) and (six) touchdowns during his final season with the Bears.
Granted, Sampson does not possess a tremendous amount of height (5’11”) or short area quickness. Yet he does have the hands and a solid enough frame (205 lbs.) to potentially develop into an effective secondary receiver for a team like the Steelers.
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