The Steelers got quite the scare when Chase Claypool had to be helped off the field during practice on Tuesday. The sobering reality of this offense without its deep threat certainly hit home. Well it just so happens a speedy wideout hit the market yesterday. The Kansas City Chiefs released Anthony Callaway as part of thier cut down to eighty five. https://arrowheadaddict.com/2021/08/17/kc-chiefs-antonio-callaway-roster-cuts-preseason/ Given the recent scare, the Steelers should seriously consider signing Antonio Callaway. There is very little to lose, and plenty of upside in a signing like this.
The question of who would replace Chase Claypool as the Z receiver is not as easy as it seems. The obvious answer is of course James Washington. We have never been a fan of Washington in the role as deep threat for this team. Did the Steelers make a mistake taking James Washington over DJ Chark? He simply does not have the speed to take the top off of opposing defenses. The Steelers offense becomes very compact, and predictable without a speed receiver as a threat on the outside. Signing Antonio Callaway, and his 4.41 speed, would give this team just that.
Antonio Callaway does not come without a considerable amount of red flags however. His character has been a concern since his days at Florida. He had several issues in college including a sexual assault charge, and was linked to a credit card scam plot. After being drafted by the Browns, Callaway was arrested for marijuana, and gun charges before ever taking the field.
Since that arrest, Callaway has managed to stay out of trouble. The newest issue with the talented receiver has become his injury woes. The former Browns standout has managed to play only nine games over the past two seasons. A bone bruise caused him to miss most of the off-season so far, leading to his release by the Chiefs.
Even with all these issues, it still would be a decent gamble for the Steelers to kick the tires on this player. It would cost Pittsburgh just a minimum salary contract to sign Callaway. Once in camp, the team could get a long look at just what type of person they are dealing with. This is a player who caught 43 passes for 586 yards, and 5 touchdowns in his rookie season. Talent is definitely not the issue here.
Kevin Colbert took a similar path with quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Haskins seemed untouchable at the time of his release from Washington. Now he is giving Mason Rudolph a serious run for the backup quarterback position. In the end it would cost the Steelers next to nothing to bring in Antonio Callaway and see what he can do. On the other hand, the upside would be tremendous if he were to ever figure things out in the NFL.