Roster Recap: So many changes

With the Steelers offseason program underway, it's the perfect opportunity to catch up on things.

The Steelers special teams unit a got a boost and depth was added on defense with the signing of free agent safety Nat Berhe to a one-year contract.

Berhe, a fifth-round pick of the New York Giants in the 2014 NFL Draft out of San Diego State, played in 38 games during his four seasons, starting two. He missed the 2015 season with a calf injury that was suffered during the team's OTAs that spring.

Nicknamed 'The Missile' his rookie season because of his tackling, Berhe was a special teams ace for the Giants, including leading that unit in tackles in 2017. He has a total of 24 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble on defense, plus 24 more tackles and a fumble recovery on special teams. 

Berhe is the first Eritrean-American to play in the NFL, as his father, Berhe Asfaha, immigrated to the United States from the East African country in 1970. His parents have inspired him to give back, and he is a strong supporter of the Berhe Group Homes in San Bernardino, California, founded by his mother Judy to provide quality residential care to at risk young boys in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

The team re-signed three of their own free agents to one-year contracts, including Justin Hunter, Vince Williams and Stevan Ridley.

Hunter, who originally signed with the Steelers last offseason as an unrestricted free agent, played in seven games last season, starting one, and finished with four catches for 23 yards and a touchdown.      

Hunter, Tennessee's second round draft pick in 2013, played his first three seasons in the league with the Titans, before being claimed off of waivers by the Miami Dolphins prior to the start of the 2016 season. Hunter was waived after just one game with the Dolphins, and then claimed off of waivers by the Bills. He played in 12 games for the Bills in 2016, starting five. He had 10 receptions for 189 yards, but made those count with four touchdown receptions.

In his five seasons in the NFL Hunter has played in 55 regular season games, starting 19. He has 82 career receptions for 1,328 yards and 13 touchdowns.

McCullers was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has seen limited action in his four seasons, playing in 42 games with two starts. He has 28 total tackles, one and a half sacks, and a pass defense.

McCullers played in just five games in 2017, inactive for 10 of them. He finished the season with just one tackle.

McCullers has previously stated the key for him is working on different aspects of his game, in particular the mental side of it.

Ridley, who was originally signed by the team on Dec. 19 after James Conner's season-ending injury, played in the final two games of the 2017 season, carrying the ball 26 times for 108 yards and a touchdown. He started against the Browns while Le'Veon Bell was rested for the playoffs, and finished with 17 attempts for 80 yards and a four-yard touchdown.

Ridley was originally drafted by New England in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots, including playing in all 16 games as a rookie. Ridley had his best season in 2012 when he carried the ball 290 times for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had six catches for 51 yards. 

The team added depth with the signing of three offensive linemen - tackles Joseph Cheek and Larson Graham and center Parker Collins. The free agents were signed to one-year contracts.

Cheek came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie who signed with the New Orleans Saints after the 2016 NFL Draft. He was released by the Saints prior to the start of the 2016 season, and quickly signed to the Houston Texans practice squad, where he spent a little over a month. He was then signed to the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, where he spent the remainder of the 2016 season and the 2017 season. Cheek started two seasons at guard at Texas A&M, following in the footsteps of his father who was a tackle for the Aggies in the 1980s.  

Graham, who played collegiately at Duquesne University, was signed by the Atlanta Falcons early in training camp last year, but was released prior to the start of the regular season. He started four years at Duquesne, and was named second-team All-Northeast Conference three straight years at right tackle.

Collins was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2017 NFL Draft as an undrafted rookie free agent, but was released before training camp. He was signed by the Los Angeles Rams when training camp began after impressing the coaches in a tryout, but was released in the final cut down. Collins played guard at Appalachian State for two seasons, before moving to center his senior year.

A look at what has happened with player signings since the season ended:

Nat Berhe – Unrestricted free agent who signed a one-year contract

Jordan Berry – Signed a one-year contract extension.

Jon Bostic – Unrestricted free agent who signed a two-year contract.

Chris Boswell - Restricted free agent who received a tender offer.

Morgan Burnett - Unrestricted free agent who signed a three-year contract.

Kameron Canaday – Signed a one-year contract extension.

Joseph Cheek – Signed to a one-year contract. Spent time on the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs practice squads.

Anthony Chickillo – Restricted free agent who received a tender offer.

Parker Collins – Signed to a one-year contract. Signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft, was released, and signed with the Los Angeles Rams, but didn't make the final roster.

Jordan Dangerfield - Signed to a reserve/future contract. Dangerfield was waived/injured prior to the start of the 2017 season, but signed to the practice squad in Oct. Dangerfield made the 53-man roster in 2016, playing in 14 games and starting two. He finished the season with 16 tackles. Dangerfield spent time during the 2014 and 2015 seasons on the Steelers practice squad.

Matt Feiler – Signed a one-year contract extension.

B.J. Finney – Signed a one-year contract extension

Matt Galambos – Signed to a reserve/future contract. Was originally signed after he came to rookie camp this year on a tryout basis. Was released on the final roster cut, and signed back to the practice squad. Was later released from the practice squad, brought back, but got injured and finished out the season on the injured reserve list.

Malik Golden – Signed to a reserve/future contract. The former Penn State standout was originally signed by the Steelers last July, but released prior to the start of the 2017 season. Was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie free agent in May, 2017, but released before training camp.

Larson Graham – Signed to a one-year contract. Played at Duquesne University and then signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted rookie free agent, but released prior to the start of training camp.

Trey Griffey – Signed to a reserve/future contact. 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.

Xavier Grimble – Signed a one-year contract extension.

Mike Hilton – Signed a one-year contract extension.

Lavon Hooks – Signed to a reserve/future contract. Originally signed by the team last February, 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.

Farrington Huguenin – Signed to a reserve/future contract, the second straight year that he was signed to one by the Steelers. Spent the 2017 season on the team's practice squad. He entered the NFL as a rookie free agent in 2016, signing with the Miami Dolphins, but was released before that season began.

Justin Hunter – Signed to a new one-year contract.

Tevin Jones – Signed to a reserve/future contract. 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 by the 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. 

Keith Kelsey - Signed to a reserve/future contract. Joined the Steelers an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. Was released prior to the start of the season, but was brought back to the practice squad.

Darnell Leslie – Signed to a reserve/future contract. Originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent in 2017 after coming in on a tryout during their rookie minicamp.

Jake McGee – Signed to a reserve/future contract. McGee was originally signed by the team on Aug. 2 and spent the entire season on the practice squad. He was on the Chargers practice squad in 2016, and also spent time with the Raiders and Panthers in the 2016 offseason.

Daniel McCullers – Signed to a new one-year contract.

Roosevelt Nix – Signed a new four-year contract.

Dashaun Phillips – Signed to a reserve/future contract. Phillips was acquired by the Steelers via a trade with the Washington Redskins on Aug. 23, after he spent his first two seasons with them. Was released on the final roster cut, and signed back to the practice squad where he spent the season.

Stevan Ridley – Signed to a new one-year contract.

Casey Sayles - Signed to a reserve/futures contract. Sayles was originally signed by the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2017 and played in the preseason, but was waived prior to the start of the regular season.

James Summers – Signed to a reserve/future contract.

Justin Thomas – Signed to a reserve/future contract. Originally signed with the Steelers on Aug. 23, but released on the final roster cut. Spent time on and off the practice squad throughout the 2017 season.

Fitzgerald Toussaint – Signed to a one-year contract.

Marcus Tucker – Signed to a reserve/future contract. He signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2016, was released before the season started, and brought back to the practice squad later that season. Was signed to a Reserve/Future contract last season as well. He spent the 2017 season on the team's practice squad.

Matt Wile – Signed to a reserve/future contract. Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers in 2015. Spent time with the Arizona Cardinals (2016) where he punted 10 times for a 37.5-yard net average, and Atlanta Falcons (2016) where he punted twice for a 52-yard net average.

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