The Baltimore Ravens had to do a bunch of roster moves ahead of the first game of the season and that involved releasing one of the most beloved players of the organization back at the end of August.
Wide receiver James Proche was released on the last days of August after spending the last three years in Baltimore. Then, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, reports emerged about fellow AFC North franchise Pittsburgh hosting the former Raven for a workout.
The Steelers are also in need of wide receiver depth after losing Simi Fehoko to the Los Angeles Chargers, who signed him from Pittsburgh's practice squad, creating a second vacant spot on their 16-man practice squad this week.
Proche, a former sixth-round draft pick Ravens in 2020, had his best season in 2021 when he totaled 202 receiving yards on 16 receptions (20 targets). Throughout his career, he has played in 43 games and made 25 receptions for a total of 278 yards but no touchdowns yet.
While Proche's previous statistics may not be remarkable, his experience as a punt and kick returner, where he has accumulated 244 yards on 29 returns, could make him an appealing addition to the Steelers.
In the NFL, taking special-team snaps, Proche primarily operated as a punt returner logging 27 returns for 222 yards and a career-long 20-yard return back in 2020 when he was still a rookie.
Proche was a 53-man-roster casualty, getting waived by the Ravens before the final roster cuts in 2023, and if he ends up joining the Steelers that'd become his second home after spending the last three years in Maryland.
Proche might not snatch a place in the active roster of the Steelers, as he couldn't do with the Ravens either, but he's more than capable of getting some reps as a practice squad member, and with a couple of spots open the Steelers could benefit from adding him.