Free agent wide receiver Eli Rogers will reportedly work out for the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders this week, according Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Rogers, 25, played the last three seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 NFL draft. Rogers missed his rookie season, so has accrued two NFL seasons to this point. In 12 starts and 27 game appearances, Rogers has recorded 66 receptions, for 743 yards and four touchdowns.
It’s still possible Rogers, a restricted free agent heading into this offseason, may return to Pittsburgh. But that seems unlikely as it decided not to tender him after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the team’s 45-42 divisional round playoff loss to Jacksonville on Jan. 24.
Although recent, Rogers’ recovery has gone unexpectedly well, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter.
Former Steelers’ WR Eli Rogers, who tore his ACL in January during the postseason and has made a strong and quicker-than-expected comeback from his injury, is scheduled to work out Sunday for the KC Chiefs, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 21, 2018
On Thursday Rogers said he anticipates making his decision on a new team soon.
Can’t wait to choose where I’ll be playing this season within these next few days. It’s been a long road of recovery. I appreciate all of my fans who tried to stay connected with me along this process.— Eli Rogers (@__bELIeve17) July 19, 2018
That quick timetable makes sense as training camps begin to kickoff across the league this week.
“I do I believe I’ve put enough on tape in crucial moments for teams or the Steelers to take that chance with me,” Rogers said, per Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com. “I do believe I’ve put a decent amount on film. Whether I made the play or not, I know I put some really good plays on film. But we’ll see.”
If he does land in Cleveland, Rogers will be reunited with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who acted in the same role with the Steelers during his two seasons with the team.
Former teammate Ben Roethlisberger lauded Rogers’ ability to get open as well as his work ethic.
“He’s an inside slot guy who knows how to get open in man really quick,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette during the season. “He takes pride in his work. He almost never makes mistakes; if he does, he grows from it. I’m just excited for him to get his opportunity again.”
The Browns roster currently holds 12 receivers, including several rookies who are all vying for a spot in a wide receiver group that is suddenly becoming very difficult to project. Rogers would not be guaranteed a spot given his recent injury, but his history with Haley—and his backing—and his proven NFL experience might make John Dorsey more willing to take a chance hoping that he returns to form in time for the start of the season.