Steelers News

Steelers Sign 3rd-Round Pick TE Darnell Washington To Four-Year Deal

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Georgia tight end Darnell Washington, a 2023 third-round draft pick, to his four-year rookie deal, according to the team. That comes on the heels of the team’s first rookie minicamp practice of the year Friday.

Pittsburgh also announced the signing of 7th round pick CB Cory Trice Jr., after the news was first reported Wednesday evening.

Washington’s four-year contract should total out at around $5,353,910 and include a signing bonus of around $893,752. His 2023 salary cap charge should come in at around $973,438.

Washington was selected 93rd overall in this year’s draft, a pick acquired from the Carolina Panthers. Pittsburgh sent #80 to Carolina for #93 and #132, the latter of which was used to select Wisconsin LB Nick Herbig.

Seeing Washington slip into late Day Two was a surprise but he reportedly fell due to medical concerns over his knees. An unusually strong tight end class may also have contributed to his draft weekend fall.

One of the most unique players in the draft, Washington is an imposing presence at 6065, 272 pounds with 34-3/8 inch arms.  At the Combine, he wowed with a 4.64 40, 10’2″ broad, and 21 reps on the bench press. His RAS came in at 9.88, one of the best figures by a tight end over the last 35 years. Washington is lauded for his in-line blocking, even calling himself a sixth offensive lineman on social media, though he’s capable of making an impact in the passing game. He finished 2022 with 28 receptions, 454 yards, and two touchdowns despite being overshadowed by Brock Bowers, a potentially historically good tight end prospect.

Washington is expected to immediately contribute as the team’s #2 tight end behind starter Pat Freiermuth, though he’ll still need to prove himself against veteran Zach Gentry, another big-bodied blocking type. Still, Washington should easily secure the #2 job and log 400-600 offensive snaps this season.

You can check out our full scouting report on Washington below.

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