One piece of housekeeping for you as we wrap up the week. Several players visited the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, according to Aaron Wilson. They included: QB Dustin Vaughan, DL Freddie Bishop, LB Dexter McCoil, and WR Eric Rogers.
Three of the four are currently in the CFL: Bishop and Rogers are members of the Calgary Stampeders while McCoil is on the Edmonton Eskimos.
McCoil’s situation is the most curious and frankly, messy. He and the Eskimos got into an apparent legal dispute over his CFL contract, leading to rumors of a lawsuit – that McCoil denies – and a settlement last month that would let him freely look to sign with an NFL squad, according to the Edmonton Journal. He has until May 1st to sign with a team and if he fails to, will be locked into a two year contract with the Eskimos.
McCoil, 6’4 220, was a UDFA out of Tulsa in 2013, spending time with the Oakland Raiders. He won the CFL rookie of the year award in 2014, racking up 67 tackles, four sacks, and six interceptions.
Rogers has been a sought after prospect, visiting with sixteen NFL clubs recently, per the Chicago Tribune. Playing his college ball at tiny D-III Cal Lutheran, the 6’3, 220 receiver is attractive for his measurables – he ran a 4.5 and jumped 37 inches at his Pro Day – and production, catching 87 passes for 1448 yards and 10 TDs this year with Calgary.
Vaughan was a record-setting QB at D-II West Texas A&M, throwing for 5401 and 53 touchdown passes his senior year. He was a Harlon Hill Award runner up, the D-II’s version of the Heisman, that year. He’s had stints with the Dallas Cowboys and most recently, the Buffalo Bills.
Bishop stands in at 6’4, 265 pounds. He’s spent the last two seasons with Calgary and broke out this year, picking up 11 sacks. Hailing out of Western Michigan, he recorded 12 TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2011.
It’s a common time for teams to work out and sign players to futures deals, and especially a time to look at the Canadian League players. The Steelers signed OLB Shawn Lemon, also from Calgary, last season, though he barely lasted a week into camp with the team, released with an injury settlement after injuring his Achilles.
One last thing. Wilson also sent this tweet about Jason Pinkston visiting as well.
The first Pinkston that came to mind was the former Pitt Panther, drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 5th round of the 2011 draft. he started 25 career games, including all 16 in his rookie season. However, he was forced to seemingly retire after suffering multiple blood clots, forcing him to walk away in August in 2014. He was released with an injury settlement.
However, there is another Jason Pinkston, a CB out of Ball State. Pinkston graduated in 2012, finishing his career with 8 INTs. It’s unclear who Wilson is referring too. The more well-known Pinkston would make for the more interesting story, though for him to get back into the league without any other stories about it is fishy to say the least. Stay tuned for hopefully a clarification.
UPDATE: It was the well-known Pinkston who visited, the guard out of Pitt. He retweeted Wilson and sent out this tweet two days ago, suggesting the Steelers reached out to him.
It would obviously be a remarkable story to see Pinkston get back into the league, though we’re still a ways away from that.