Pressley Harvin III

Steelers Cut OL Chukwuma Okorafor, P Pressley Harvin III

Mitch Trubisky wasn’t the only Steelers player to earn his walking papers today. The team announced that they’ve also cut offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor and punter Pressley Harvin III.

[RELATED: Steelers, QB Mitch Trubisky Part Ways]

Okorafor joined the Steelers as a third-round pick in 2018. He got into 77 games across his six seasons with the organization, including a three-year stretch between 2020 and 2022 where he started 48 of his 49 appearances. He also started a pair of playoff games for the Steelers.

The lineman’s 55-game starting streak ended this past season when he was benched for disciplinary reasons. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Broderick Jones, and the rookie ended up playing the majority of the snaps at right tackle for the rest of the year.

Okorafor inked a three-year, $29.25MM extension with the Steelers back in 2022. He was set to earn $4.75MM via base salary and $4MM in roster bonuses next season. As Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes, the development of Jones coupled with the minuscule $1.23MM cap hit from Dan Moore Jr. made it easier to move on from the veteran Okorafor.

Harvin has spent the past three seasons as Pittsburgh’s primary punter. The 2021 seventh-round pick has continued to build off a rookie campaign where he earned All-Rookie Team honors. He finished this past season landing a career-high 38.5 percent of his punts inside the 20. He was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract.

Steelers To Bring Back P Brad Wing

The Steelers held a punting competition this offseason, bringing in Braden Mann to challenge incumbent Pressley Harvin. The team went with the holdover option, becoming the second club to cut Mann this year. But Harvin is now battling an injury.

Harvin sustained a hamstring injury during a strong Week 3 outing in Las Vegas. The Steelers’ contingency plan will involve a blast from the past. Brad Wing, who last punted in an NFL game six years ago, is joining the Steelers on a practice squad deal, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

Wing spent three seasons with the Giants but began his career with the Steelers, who used him as their primary punter in 2014. The Australian specialist punted in all 16 games for the Steelers during his 2014 rookie season, but the team went in a different direction in 2015. Wing, 32, re-emerged on Pittsburgh’s radar this month, however, working out for the Steelers before Week 2.

This year’s XFL reboot opened the door to Wing resuming his career. He caught on with the twice-relaunched league’s San Antonio Brahmas. He had previously punted in the short-lived Alliance of American Football in 2019. The Giants rostered Wing from 2015-17 but traded for Riley Dixon in 2018, a transaction that came after Wing’s release.

Harvin, who averaged 44.5 yards per punt in 2022, is off to a nice start. His three-game average checks in at 47.2. While Wing only cleared 45 yards per boot once during his four-year NFL run in the 2010s, he led the XFL with a 47.8-yard average this year. Harvin being unable to go would bring about an interesting chapter in Steelers special teams annals, with Wing now in position to suit up nine years after his previous Pittsburgh cameo.

Steelers Release P Jordan Berry

The Steelers have settled on a new punter. The team released veteran Jordan Berry today, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). This means rookie seventh-round pick Pressley Harvin III has won the starting gig.

Berry, a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky, had been with the Steelers since the 2015 season. Berry didn’t miss a game through his first five seasons in the NFL, averaging 44.2 yards per punt on his 328 attempts. It looked like his stint in Pittsburgh had ended in 2020 when the team released him in favor of Dustin Colquitt, but the team reversed course and re-signed Berry in October. The veteran ended up seeing time in 11 games last season, and he finished with a career-high 45.8 yards per punt.

Harvin will now take over the starting gig following a standout career at Georgia Tech. The punter earned a long list of accolades in 2020, including unanimous first-team All-American, first team All-ACC, and the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter.

The Steelers special teams room will look a bit different in 2021, as the team also swapped long snapper Kam Canaday with Christian Kuntz. This leaves kicker Chris Boswell as the lone holdover.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/15/21

Here are the latest rookies to agree to terms on their four-year contracts. The Steelers were busy on this front Saturday.

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Pittsburgh Steelers