Ex Falcons WR follows Arthur Smith to Steelers

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac reported a week or so ago that the Steelers were signing former Falcons pass catcher Van Jefferson to a one-year contract, and that deal became official a couple of days ago.

Mike Tomlin brought Arthur Smith aboard after firing Matt Canada midseason, which was the first time that has happened in the franchise’s history. The former Falcons head coach is expected to revive a talented, yet underachieving offense.

With Kenny Pickett traded, Smith will have Russell Wilson and Justin Fields in the quarterback room with a deep core of skill players, headlined by George Pickens, Najee Harris, and Pat Freiermuth.

With Diontae Johnson now in Carolina, Van Jefferson should be lined up to get more playing time after having a minimal impact for the Falcons last year. Jefferson was traded to Atlanta from Los Angeles in the middle of the 2023 campaign.

With the Falcons, he played in 12 games, starting five, and finished with 12 receptions for 101 yards. Jefferson played in five games for the Rams, starting four, and had eight receptions for 108 yards.

Jefferson was originally drafted by the Rams in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft but hasn’t experienced a ton of success. He had his best season in 2021, starting all 17 games and finishing with 50 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns, all career highs.

Smith now has a familiar face in Pittsburgh as the former Falcons head coach attempts to resurrect his career with the Steelers. A lot of fans in Atlanta don’t believe in Arthur Smith the head coach, but Arthur Smith the offensive coordinator is a proven commodity and exactly what Mike Tomlin wants.

Photographer: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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