The Jets have signed former Steelers third-round running back and return man Dri Archer to a reserve/futures contract, the team announced today in a press release. Archer finished the 2015 season as a free agent after being cut by Pittsburgh, meaning he didn’t have to wait until March to sign with a club.
Despite being selected with the 97th overall pick in 2014, Archer didn’t see much action after joining the Steelers, with all 17 of his offensive touches coming in his rookie year. He had been Pittsburgh’s primary kick returner in 2015 before his release, averaging 25.3 yards on 14 attempts, but was cut when the team picked up Jacoby Jones to fill that role.
A report shortly after Archer’s release in November suggested that he had received and passed on offers from 10 teams to join their practice squads. At the time, the Kent State product reportedly planned to wait and see whether he got any offers to join a 53-man roster, but apparently such an opportunity never arose, since Archer didn’t sign anywhere for the rest of the season.
Archer, who worked out for the Jets in November, could have a decent opening to earn a roster spot in New York this season. The club’s three top running backs – Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, and Stevan Ridley – are all eligible for free agency, and no player on the roster has a stranglehold on the kick return duties, which were split last season by Zac Stacy and Antonio Cromartie.
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