Are you sad that the Pittsburgh Steelers lost wide receiver Steven Sims to the Houston Texans on Friday? Well, the contract details of the deal that he signed are now in and they shed a little light as to why he probably will not be back with the Steelers in 2023.
According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2-TV in Houston, Sims signed a one-year deal with the Texans that has a maximum value of $1.7 million. That deal reportedly includes a base salary of $1.5 million with $500,000 of that being guaranteed. The other $200,000 included in that deal more than likely revolves around gameday roster or performance bonuses.
Sims, who entered the offseason as a scheduled restricted free agent, was not tendered by the Steelers by the start of the 2023 NFL league year and thus he became a street free agent. The lowest tender the Steelers could have placed on him would have been for $2.627 million for 2023. They obviously did not see his value as being that high.
In all likelihood, the Steelers would have liked to have had Sims back on a one-year contract for his accrued seasons minimum, which would have been $1.01 million. At most, the Steelers probably would have been willing to go as high as $1.3 million on Sims, which is what cornerback James Pierre, who was also an untendered restricted free agent this offseason, re-signed for this past week. Even if $1.3 million on a one-year deal was the highest the Steelers offered Sims, it’s likely that such an offer wouldn’t have included any guaranteed money, which is believed to be the case with Pierre.
Sims started the 2022 regular season as a regular on the Steelers’ gameday inactive lists following him making the 53-man roster out of training camp. When the team needed a more sure-handed return man, Sims was active beginning in Week 5. A hamstring injury, however, caused Sims to go back to the inactive list again in Week 7.
From Week 8 and on last season, Sims was active for every game. He finished the season with 19 punt returns for 105 yards with a long of 24 yards and 13 fair catches. He also registered 17 kickoff returns for 434 yards and a long of 89 yards. As a receiver, Sims had just 14 receptions for 104 yards on 23 total targets. He did, however, have 13 rushes for another 70 yards.
Currently, the Steelers have nine wide receivers under contract for the 2023 season in Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Calvin Austin III, Gunner Olszewski, Anthony Miller, Cody White, Dez Fitzpatrick, Ja’Marcus Bradley, and Dan Chisena. It will now be interesting to see if they are able to re-sign wide receiver Myles Boykin, one of their several unrestricted free agents this offseason.
While the Steelers aren’t expected to address the wide receiver position early in the 2023 NFL Draft, they could address it at some point and especially if Boykin is not ultimately re-signed. Only four times since 2000 have the Steelers not selected at least one wide receiver in a draft.