The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed receiver Hakeem Butler from the XFL, it was reported Tuesday. The news comes after Butler participated in the team’s minicamp this past weekend as a tryout player.
Butler spent this past season with the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks, where he was an All-XFL player. He led the team with 51 catches for 599 yards and eight touchdowns across 10 games.
Butler brings limited experience playing in the NFL, as he was a fourth-round pick in 2019 to the Arizona Cardinals. He spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a broken hand before the team waived him ahead of 2020.
Butler later signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and appeared in two games during the 2020 season, though he did not record a catch. He was again released ahead of 2021.
Butler never gave up on his dream, however, spending some time in the CFL before joining the XFL. His efforts have paid off as he has now officially received another shot in the NFL.
Hakeem Butler joins a Steelers receiving room that features Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson, Calvin Austin, Miles Boykin, Gunner Olszewski and Cody White. He’ll hope to stand out among those players to earn an official spot on the 53-man roster before the Aug. 29 deadline.
Steelers sign another XFL player in defensive back Luq Barcoo
Butler isn’t the only XFL player to join the Steelers this offseason.
On Monday the Steelers signed defensive back Luq Barcoo and running back Alfonzo Graham to their roster, two under-the-radar pickups that could have an impact on both sides of the ball for Pittsburgh.
Barcoo most recently played in the XFL, playing for the San Antonio Brahmas in 2023. In his 10 games with the Brahmas, he recorded 31 tackles and three tackles for loss along with one sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception on the season.
Prior to his season with the Brahmas, Barcoo was an NFL journeyman after going undrafted out of San Diego State in 2020. Barcoo spent time as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and the New York Jets in just two years’ time.
Graham on the other hand was an undrafted free agent this year, and must have impressed at the team’s three-day rookie minicamp over the weekend. He arrived to Pittsburgh on a tryout basis and left with a three-year contract. Graham played his college football at Morgan State, and in the last two seasons rushed for 1,656 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 31 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown.