2018 Offseason Questions: Rogers, Steelers In Each Other’s Plans?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: Is Eli Rogers in the Steelers’ plans?

The Steelers don’t ordinarily carry six wide receivers on their roster—five is the norm—but they did so last season. They brought four of them back from the 2017 roster, and replaced one of those lost with a second-round draft pick, so at least in theory, they should have a group of at least five solid receivers.

Yet there is still a lot of concern about the depth at the position within some corners of the fanbase, as it appears for the moment that the primary backups to the three starting wide receivers right now would be Justin Hunter and Darrius Heyward-Bey heading into the year.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin has spoken highly of Hunter this offseason, saying that the team is counting on him this year and that he expects the veteran to have a better season in his second year in Pittsburgh, with greater comfort in the offense. Ramon Foster also said that he saw Hunter making catches this spring that he did not a year ago.

Tomlin also seemed to express optimism about the Steelers re-signing Eli Rogers, one of the two wide receivers from 2017’s roster that are currently not on the team. He suffered a torn ACL during the playoffs, but is now healthy enough to work out for teams. As we relayed to you yesterday, he has three workouts scheduled for this week.

What does that mean for the Steelers, if anything? Has the team told him that he is not currently in their plans? Is he interested in finding a landing spot where he can have a bigger role? Is he simply exploring his options?

One factor in mind is the fact that Rogers had his rehab process at the Steelers’ facility, so they will already know exactly where he is in terms of his health. Other teams would have to put him through a workout, but Pittsburgh probably would not. We should know relatively soon, with training camp just around the corner, if they are still interested in a reunion.

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