Wide receiver has been an area of need for the Pittsburgh Steelers ever since they lost wideout Martavis Bryant for the 2016 season due to suspension and the offense struggled at times because of it. With Bryant’s status for next season still up in the air, the Steelers invested in an insurance policy with their first free agent acquisition of the 2017 league year.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers signed free agent wide receiver Justin Hunter Wednesday morning. Contract details have yet to be released.
Source says a deal with WR Justin Hunter is "done with Steelers." If finalized, would provide a deep threat for Big Ben.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 15, 2017
Drafted out of the University of Tennessee in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans, Hunter was seen as a receiver with tremendous potential. Unfortunately, Hunter never lived up to the hype and was consequently waived by the Titans before the start of the 2016 season. After being waived by Tennessee, Hunter signed with the Miami Dolphins just before Week 1. Hunter’s tenure in Miami was short-lived, and he was waived just before the Dolphins’ Week 4 match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hunter was then claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills and would finish the season in upstate New York.
While he hasn’t done much in his four years in the league, Hunter’s upside was too much to pass up for the Steelers and it’s easy to see why judging by his draft scouting report. An absolute physical freak of nature, Hunter has the right combination of speed and size to be a dangerous deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger and open up the middle of the field for both Antonio Brown and Ladarius Green.
Bringing in Justin Hunter isn’t a flashy signing by any means, but he addresses an area of need and provides good depth. As of now, he’ll most likely be competing for a spot on the roster, but if he happens to make the team out of training camp, he could end up surprising Steelers fans by the end of the season.
Mike Esposito is the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos Staff Writer at Endzonescore.com. Follow him on Twitter @espo6891