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Roster Recap: The offseason moves

Posted Jan 25, 2016

A look at the roster moves the Steelers have made so far this offseason.


The end of the season normally means roster activity for teams, and the Steelers were no different. A lot has happened, so this is a chance to catch up.

The team signed three players to contract extensions, and also signed 15 players to reserve/future contracts.

Signing one-year extensions were cornerback Ross Cockrell, center/guard Chris Hubbard and fullback Roosevelt Nix.

Cockrell started seven games in the regular season and finished with 43 tackles, 11 passes defensed and two interceptions. He played in both postseason games, finishing with one tackle and a fumble recovery.

Hubbard played in eight games in the regular season and also saw playing time in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Broncos.

Nix, who originally signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers on Jan. 9, 2015, stepped up on special teams this year, playing in 15 games before he suffered a season-ending foot injury against Baltimore on Dec. 27. He started three games in 2015, catching two passes for 16 yards. He had eight special teams tackles and forced a fumble on a kickoff return against the Raiders, the Steelers recovered and scored two plays later.

The Steelers also signed 15 players to reserve/future contracts.

A reserve/future contact can only be given to a player who was not on any team’s active roster at the end of the 2015 season. A player who was on a practice squad, and his practice squad contract expired one week after his season ended, or a veteran who wasn’t with another team at the end of the season, can be signed to a reserve/future contract. These contracts can only be signed during the period beginning the day after the conclusion of the final regular season weekend and ending with the Super Bowl.

Players who sign reserve/future contracts now revert to the active roster when free agency begins on March. 9.

Here is a rundown of who the Steelers signed to reserve/future contracts:

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.

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.   

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.

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.