Steelers News

Fowler: WR Ray-Ray McCloud Signing With 49ers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially lost their first outside free agent. Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud is signing a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

McCloud told reporters earlier in the offseason he wanted to remain in Pittsburgh. But he reportedly was going to have a market with the 49ers rumored to be one of those teams. Now, he heads to the West Coast on a two-year deal. it’s unknown exactly how big the contract is.

According to Fowler, the Steelers attempted to re-sign him but the 49ers offered more money.

Tom Pelissero confirms that notion. The 49ers’ deal is worth “up to” $10.4 million.

McCloud saw his role expand in 2021, filling in for JuJu Smith-Schuster as the team’s primary slot receiver. He caught 39 passes but for just 277 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per catch. He did most of his damage in the return game, serving as the Steelers’ kick and punt returner the last two years. In 2021, he led the league in punt returns (38) and punt return yardage (367), while averaging 9.7 per try. He also averaged 22.2 yards per kick return and helped bring the Steelers out of the basement they lived in prior to McCloud’s arrival in the summer of 2020.

Pittsburgh will now search for backup slot depth and someone who can wear both return hats. JuJu Smith-Schuster remains a free agent and should the team lose him too, they’ll have a big void at slot receiver on their roster.

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