There isn’t much else to do while we sit here and wait for news about whether or not there will even be training camp, so it seems as good a time as any to bring back this series, in which we look to introduce some of the new players that the Pittsburgh Steelers have added to the mix since the end of the 2019 season.
The team added some notable pieces in free agency, which was important, because they didn’t have much to work with in terms of draft capital due to previous trades. They also made liberal use of the XFL’s closure, signing about as many players from there as the rest of the league combined. Even while claiming that they didn’t have a lot of roster room, they still signed a good number of rookie college free agents as well, enough that they had to release three players just to make room for them.
While the Steelers are comfortable with the top of their depth chart in the secondary, they knew heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, especially with limited draft capital, that they wanted to try to address it beforehand, making use of the closure of the XFL to acquire more, including Arrion Springs, who would have a successful stint there with the Los Angeles Wildcats.
A three-year starter during his four-year college campaign with Oregon, Springs compiled only two interceptions during that time, but also had 42 passes defensed, showing that he was active around the ball in the air. He also registered nine tackles for loss, four each in his final two seasons, which is good for a cornerback, where he also finished with 137 total tackles.
Springs would still go undrafted in 2018, signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a college free agent. He would log 84 defensive snaps during the preseason that year, including 38 in the finale, where he would accumulate eight tackles with four stops and one pass breakup, but it was not enough to keep him around.
After the preseason, he would prove to be a true nomad, spending time with several organizations, first on the Chiefs’ practice squad, then that of the Cleveland Browns, the New Orleans Saints, the Oakland Raiders, and then the Los Angeles Chargers.
He would remain with the Chargers throughout the 2019 preseason as well, once again logging 84 snaps, this time posting six tackles, with two stops, and he failed to get his hand on a ball, though he was only targeted four times, allowing three receptions for 26 yards.
Springs would ultimately find his way to the XFL for the 2020 season after failing to latch on again in the NFL. There, he would be a starter on the Wildcats’ defense, registering 16 tackles and highlighted by an interception in a blowout victory over the DC Defenders in Week Three.
Once the league folded midway through the 10-game season, the Steelers expressed interest, and ultimately completed a contract with him on April 16, giving them added depth in the secondary after losing Artie Burns and Sean Davis.