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Roster Recap: Ahead of free agency

Posted Mar 6, 2016

The latest Steelers offseason roster moves before free agency kicks in.

As the offseason has rolled along, it seems that the Steelers roster has taken on a new look continuously, and the goal here it to make sure you didn’t miss out on any of it.

While things were quiet this week, we all easily remember a few weeks ago when the most notable change to the roster was the retirement of tight end Heath Miller after 11 seasons.

Other recent comings and goings include signing three players, releasing four and keeping around a long-time veteran.

Added on were long snapper Matt Dooley, defensive tackle Lavon Hooks and defensive end Roy Philon.

Dookley, who played at Indiana University, had a tryout with the team last year during rookie minicamp.

Hooks was with the Green Bay Packers in training camp in 2015, but was released prior to the start of the season and didn’t play last year.

Philon was with the Steelers in training camp in 2014 and played in four preseason games. He has also spent time with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

The Steelers released tight end Rob Blanchflower, guard Micah Hatchie and offensive tackles Kelvin Palmer and Mitchell Van Dyk.

The team also re-signed long-snapper Greg Warren to a one-year contract. Warren, who originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2005, has played in 165 regular season games and 12 postseason games.

The Steelers previously re-signed cornerback Ross Cockrell, center/guard Chris Hubbard, and fullback Roosevelt Nix to one-year extensions.

Below is a look at other players the Steelers signed this offseason.

Wide receiver Issac Blakeney: Blakeney, who played at Duke, was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2015. Blakeney was waived before the start of the regular season, and was signed to the Washington Redskins practice squad, but was injured and eventually released. 

Safety Jordan Dangerfield: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Offensive tackle Matt Feiler: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Center/guard B.J. Finney: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Defensive back Isaiah Frey: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Cornerback Montell Garner: Garner signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2015. Garner was released before the start of the season.

Tight end Xavier Grimble: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Free safety Jacob Hagen: Spent time on St. Louis Rams practice squad in 2015, but was later released from it.

Kicker Ty Long: Signed with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent, but was waived before the season started.

Defensive end Caushaud Lyons: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Offensive tackle Brian Mihalik: Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round last year. Was released from the Eagles practice squad on Sept. 16.   

Wide receiver Levi Norwood: Norwood originally signed with the Chicago Bears as a rookie free agent in 2015, but was waived before the season started and was out of football all season. Norwood was a return specialist at Baylor where he earned All-Big 12 honorable mention two straight seasons (2013-14).

Wide receiver Tobais Palmer: Palmer has bounced around since first signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. He spent time on the Jaguars and San Diego Chargers practice squad. He was also with the New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills, but released by the Bills before the start of the 2015 season.

Running back Rajion Neal: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Receiver Shakim Phillips: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Running back Daryl Richardson: Drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round in 2012. Rushed for 690 yards and added 284 receiving yards in two seasons. Waived by the Rams in May, 2014. Claimed off waivers by the New York Jets and made their practice squad. Spent time on the Houston Texans practice squad and the Cleveland Browns roster in 2015.

Cornerback Al-hajj Shabazz: Shabazz signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a rookie free agent in 2015, but was released before he went to training camp. Shabazz signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in July, 2015, but was released before the season started.

Running back Abou Toure: Was on the Steelers practice squad in 2015.

Quarterback Dustin Vaughan: Signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Made the roster as the third quarterback. Was released by the Cowboys before the 2015 season. Spent a portion of the 2015 season on the Buffalo Bills practice squad.  

Safety Ray Vinopal: Played at the University of Pittsburgh and was released by the Dallas Cowboys prior to 2015 season.