After spending the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, veteran wide receiver Justin Hunter wasn’t re-signed this past offseason and he remains a free agent. However, Hunter did recently work out for the New England Patriots, the team the Steelers will open their 2019 regular season against.
The Patriots worked out four wide receivers today, per source: Nick Williams (Titans), Justin Hunter (Steelers), Papi White (Jaguars) and Travin Dural (Saints).
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 22, 2019
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Patriots worked out four wide receivers on Monday and that list of players included Hunter, Nick Williams, Papi White and Travin Dural. The Patriots hadn’t yet signed any of those four wide receivers at the time of this post.
The Patriots are reportedly looking at wide receivers due to Julian Edelman now expected to be sidelined for the next three weeks because of a thumb injury. Additionally, Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will open training camp on the Patriots Active PUP list as he continues to rehab the torn Achilles he suffered last season.
In the past two seasons with the Steelers, Hunter registered just 7 total receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown in very sparse playing time. Hunter’s 2018 season ended after team’s Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers due to a shoulder injury he suffered in that contest. Hunter reportedly suffered a torn labrum in that game that required surgery to repair it.
Even if Hunter were to latch on with the Patriots, his chances of making their 53-man roster would be extremely slim and especially with him not being a special teams asset.
Hunter is currently one of several Steelers players from last year’s roster that were on last year’s roster that remain unsigned after being allowed to test free agency this past offseason. The other currently unsigned former Steelers players are safety Nat Berhe, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, running back Stevan Ridley, cornerback Coty Sensabaugh. Additionally, linebacker Keith Kelsey, offensive lineman Joseph Cheek, safety Malik Golden and tight end Jake McGee, all whom ended the 2018 season on the Steelers Reserve/Injured list, all remain unsigned after all went untendered before the start of the new league year in March