PITTSBURGH — Veteran receiver Donte Moncrief, who was signed by the Steelers in free agency with the hope that he could replace some of the production lost with the departure of Antonio Brown, was waived by the team Saturday.
By signing Moncrief, the Steelers were likely going to lose a third-round compensatory pick that they initially gained for losing running back Le’Veon Bell. However, by releasing Moncrief before Week 10, the Steelers should regain that third-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
Moncrief signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Steelers in March, and he got off to a rough start with his new team when a dislocated finger limited him in training camp. He played 90% of the offensive snaps and was targeted 10 times in the season-opening loss to the New England Patriots but had a dismal performance with four drops.
Moncrief never found his footing after that, and he was demoted from the starting lineup in favor of rookie Diontae Johnson the following week. He then was inactive in Week 3 and Week 5 and had just one more catch — an 11-yard reception against the Los Angeles Chargers.
He finishes his short stint in Pittsburgh with four receptions for 18 yards.
In Moncrief’s place, the Steelers promoted practice squad running back Tony Brooks-James to fortify the depleted running back group ahead of Sunday’s meeting with the Indianapolis Colts.