Roster Recap: Early offseason changes

It’s the time of year when new names start to appear on the Steelers offseason roster, and this is your best place to catch up with all of the changes that have taken place.

The team has signed six new players to reserve/future contracts, while also signing players from their practice squad to reserve/future contracts. Three players who were set to be exclusive rights free agents this year, Zach Banner, Kam Canaday, and Jordan Dangerfield, signed one-year contract extensions at the end of the season.

Players aren’t the only place where there was change. The Steelers hired Teryl Austin in the new role of senior defensive assistant/secondary. Austin comes to the Steelers with a wealth of NFL experience, having coached in the league for 15 seasons. In addition Shaun Sarrett, who has been with the team for seven seasons, was promoted to offensive line coach. Mike Munchak left that position to join the Denver Broncos. The team also didn’t renew the contracts of outside linebackers coach Joey Porter and running backs coach James Saxon.

The full update of what has happened so far this offseason is below, and we will bring you more updates as they happen.

Roster Recap:

Keion Adams - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. Was the Steelers seventh-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Spent the 2017 season on the reserve/injured list. A linebacker out of Western Michigan University, Adams finished his college career with 124 tackles, 70 of them solo stops, and added 32 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Zach Banner – Signed a one-year contract extension at the end of the 2018 season. Banner was signed by the Steelers during training camp last year and spent the 2018 season on the active roster, although he didn’t see action in any games and was a game day inactive for 15 games. Banner was a fourth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2017 NFL Draft, but spent his rookie season with the Cleveland Browns, playing in eight games. He was signed by the Carolina Panthers last offseason, but was released in late May.

Kameron Canaday – Signed a one-year contract extension at the end of the 2018 season. Canaday has been consistent as the Steelers long snapper the last two seasons, playing in every game. Canaday originally signed with the Steelers in the 2017 offseason, was released, and then signed back and won the long snapper job in training camp. Canaday entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Arizona Cardinals in 2016, but was released early that season.

Jordan Dangerfield – Signed a one-year contract extension at the end of the 2018 season. He played in 16 games this year, starting the season finale against Cincinnati at free safety with Sean Davis sidelined. Dangerfield had five tackles on defense and two on special teams. He also recovered a fumble against the Los Angeles Chargers while playing special teams. Dangerfield has played in 30 games with 15 tackles in his NFL career.

Trey Griffey - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. The son of Hall of Fame baseball player Ken Griffey Jr., he played collegiately at Arizona. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2017, but was waived/injured before training camp started. He was signed by the Miami Dolphins during camp, but released prior to the season.

Bucky Hodges - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad at the end of the 2018 season. The tight end was originally signed by the Steelers during training camp, just a few days after he was released by the New York Jets. In addition to spending time with the Jets, he also spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Lavon Hooks - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. Originally signed by the team in 2017, but was released before the start of the season. Spent the 2017 season on the team’s practice squad. Prior to joining the Steelers he spent time with the Green Bay Packers.

Tevin Jones - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. Entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Houston Texans in 2016. Was released by the Texans before the season started, but added to their practice squad late in the season. Was signed to a reserve/future contract in Jan., 2017, but waived that spring. Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs that summer, but was released prior to the start of the season.

Patrick Morris - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. Was signed by the Steelers as a rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. Morris, a center out of TCU, started 18 games in college, with 10 at guard and eight at center.

R.J. Prince - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. Prince made an impression when he attended Steelers rookie minicamp in 2018 on a tryout basis, and was signed afterwards. Prince, a guard who played at North Carolina, started 11 of the 12 games he played his final college season. He started 12 games his junior year.

Kevin Rader - Signed a reserve/future contract. The tight end signed with the Green Bay Packers last year as an undrafted rookie free agent, spending training camp with the team. Played collegiately at Youngstown State where he had 44 receptions for 601 yards and four touchdowns. Played high school football at Pine-Richland in the Pittsburgh area.

Brogan Roback - Signed a reserve/future contract. Roback was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent last year. The quarterback was released before the start of the regular season. In the preseason he completed nine of 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. Roback played collegiately at Eastern Michigan.

Tegray Scales - Signed a reserve/future contract. Scales originally signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft. He was released by the team before the start of the season. Scales was signed to the Colts practice squad in December and released him later in the month. Scales played collegiately at Indiana where the linebacker had 325 tackles and 18 sacks.

Conor Sheehy - Signed a reserve/future contract. Sheehy was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Green Bay Packers after the 2018 NFL Draft. He was released before the start of the season. The defensive end played collegiately at Wisconsin where he made 33 starts.

Diontae Spencer - Signed a reserve/future contract. Spencer spent the last four seasons playing in the CFL for Ottawa and Toronto. In his four seasons in the CFL he played in 57 games with 259 catches for 3,137 yards, including 1,007 yards in 2018. The receiver/returner also spent a short time with the Los Angeles Rams.

Herb Waters - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad during the 2018 season. Waters, a second-year defensive back, was signed to the practice squad in October. He began his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers as a rookie free agent in 2016. Spent time on the team’s practice squad, but did play in two regular season games. Missed the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. Played collegiately at the University of Miami.

Ralph Webb - Signed a reserve/future contract. Was on the Steelers practice squad for a portion of the 2018 season, signed in December because of injuries at running back. Webb was originally signed by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft, released at the end of the preseason and signed to the practice squad. He was released from the Patriots practice squad during the season, signed to Tampa Bay’s practice squad, and later released from the Bucs and signed by the Steelers.

Ka’Raun White – Signed a reserve/future contract. Was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft, but released and signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. Spent training camp and the preseason with the Bengals, but was released prior to the start of the regular season. White played at West Virginia where the receiver finished his career with 61 receptions for 1,004 yards and 12 touchdowns.

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