As we’ve done in previous years, we’re taking a look at those Pittsburgh Steelers under futures contracts for the 2021 offseason. The ones who spent most if not the entire year on the practice squad and what we can expect from them during training camp (hopefully) into the regular season.
Cody White/WR – 6’3 215
Wide receiver is a crowded room for a guy like Cody White, who was probably secretly hoping JuJu Smith-Schuster would find another home. Not because they play the exact same position, White is an outside guy, Smith-Schuster moreso in the slot, but it would’ve created one more opening on the roster. Until the draft, anyway.
White was big man on campus at Michigan State. A three-year player who left after his junior season, he totaled nearly 2000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. His best year came in 2019, compiling 66 grabs for 922 yards and six scores. I’m not a big highlight reel guy who here were some of the top plays he made that led him to leave early.
But like so many juniors, things didn’t work out as he hoped. Invited to the Combine, he ran a slow 4.66 40 and while his other numbers were better, they weren’t amazing. 35 inch vert, 10 foot broad. Because of the pandemic, he didn’t have a Pro Day to try and improve those figures either. Like so many underclassmen, he went undrafted and began the roller coaster of trying to stick in the league.
Kansas City signed him after the draft but waived him with a non-football injury in late July. The New York Giants briefly carried him in camp before releasing him, too, as teams began trimming their roster from 90 to 80. Guys like White drew the short straw.
Pittsburgh got to know White pretty well before actually signing him. They worked him out twice. Once in mid-August and again in late September before signing him to the practice squad on the 24th. That’s where he remained for the rest of the regular season, never earning a call-up to the active roster. He was inked to a futures deal on January 14th.
Hopefully he’ll have a much more organized offseason this time around. One that can include preseason games and a chance to show some staying power. He’s a big body who could potentially win some jump ball situations. He’ll have to make those plays routinely in order to hang around. A path to the 53 man roster is tough to imagine, especially if the Steelers draft another receiver on Day Three.