The resolution of the Antonio Brown situation — a trade to the Oakland Raiders for a pair of draft picks — left a big hole at wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The team made an effort to fill that hole by agreeing to a deal with Donte Moncrief. Moncrief, a five-year veteran, signed a two-year deal to join the Steelers, the team announced Thursday.
The 6-foot-2 Moncrief spent the 2018 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars didn’t really have much of an aerial attack, but Moncrief managed to turn in respectable numbers: 48 catches, 668 yards and three touchdowns.
“We are excited to sign Donte Moncrief to a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” team GM Kevin Colbert said. “We feel he is a great addition to our wide receiver group and we look forward to his contributions to our offense in 2019.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 14, 2019
Moncrief, 25, signed on with the Jags following four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts drafted the Ole Miss product in the third round in 2014. During his time in Indy, Moncrief totaled 152 catches for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdowns.
His best statistical output came in his second year, 2015. That season, playing opposite T.Y, Hilton, Moncrief had 64 catches for 733 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns. He couldn’t carry that production over into 2016 and 2017, however. Moncrief dealt with injuries in both seasons, missing seven games in 2016 and four games in 2017.
In Pittsburgh, he’ll team up with JuJu Smith-Schuster, who led the Steelers with 111 catches for 1,426 last year and will carry an even bigger load now that Brown has been shipped out of town. Pittsburgh also may rely on the progression of James Washington, a consistent big play threat during his time at Oklahoma State who showed flashes as a rookie in 2018.
The Steelers, coming off a 9-6-1, also tight end Vance McDonald (50 catches for 610 yards) and slot man Ryan Switzer (36 catches for 253 yards) in their receiving corps.
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