Eli Rogers flirted with the idea of crossing the lines of a rivalry but ultimately decided to stay on the familiar side.
The wide receiver is re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation. After the signing the team announced they placed him on the Active/PUP List.
Rogers spent the offseason rehabbing after suffering a torn ACL during Pittsburgh's postseason loss to Jacksonville, and didn't entertain offers until very recently. The wideout traveled west to Kansas City and Cleveland to meet with the Chiefs and Browns before ultimately deciding to remain with the Steelers on a short-term contract.
We're in the age of very modern medicine, and it seems as though ACL recoveries are progressing faster than ever, but six months removed from the intital injury is still a rather short timeline. It would make more sense, then, for Rogers to test the market before coming back to Pittsburgh, where a familiar organization might not make him feel quite as pressured to return as quickly. Additionally, Rogers addresses a need for depth at slot receiver, so his addition on a one-year deal is low-risk and worth the reward even if he doesn't produce more than 30 receptions.
Having said that, Rogers is a third or fourth receiver on this Steelers team, facing competition from rookie James Washington, as well as veterans Darrius Heyward-Bey and Justin Hunter in a group that already includes Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The afforded timeline might not be all that much longer, even in the comfort of Pittsburgh.
Elsewhere in player news Wednesday:
- Richard Sherman (Achilles) passed his physical and will not start Niners training camp on PUP, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan announced. Sherman will now earn his $2 million roster bonus, Rapoport reports. The 49ers signed wideout Dante Pettis to his four-year rookie deal.
- Houston Texans general manager Brian Gaine said both J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson will be full-go for training camp.
- Ricardo Louis' 2018 is over before it could begin. Browns coach Hue Jackson announced Wednesday the receiver will miss the entire season due to a neck injury.
- New York Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Robinson will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster Oct. 1 following the team's September 30 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is eligible to take part in all practices and preseason games.
- Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers (shoulder) failed his physical and will open training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, the team announced.
- The Los Angeles Rams placed safety Lamarcus Joyner on the non-football injury list. Joyner, who will play under the franchise tag in 2018, is eligible to come off NFI and practice once he's medically cleared.