The Pittsburgh Steelers tend to wait until later in the season. Maybe lull the rookies into a false sense of hope. I guess I won’t have to pay for dinner as a rookie. But tonight, TE Darnell Washington got got.
Posting to his Instagram story around 10 PM/EST Thursday night, Washington shared this photo of the tab. And it’s a doozy.
A $4,000 tab. Not a fun day to be a rookie. Maybe things went well in MyCareer mode on NBA 2k24. We can only hope.
The details beyond what Washington posted as a mystery. Often, each rookie buys for their whole position group. Which means it’s good to be a quarterback and bad to be an offensive linemen. Washington’s fellow tight ends on the team include Pat Freiermuth, Connor Heyward, and Rodney Williams. A smaller and young group who went through similar not too long ago.
In an interview earlier this year, CB Joey Porter Jr. joked the team hadn’t had their rookie dinners yet. And while $4,000 is nothing to sneeze at, there’s been players hit with a much larger tab. Back in 2014, Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson had his group run up a tab of more than $17,000.
And Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant had to pay for a team dinner that cost nearly $55,000 during his rookie season. Of course, they were first round picks making first round money so their wallets could handle the hit a little easier, not they enjoyed the bill any more, I’m sure.
Washington, the Steelers’ third round pick this year who fell in the draft due to reported injury concerns, has mostly been used as a blocker this season. With only six catches and zero touchdowns through the team’s first 14 games, his production has been underwhelming, though he plays in a passing game that struggles to get even its main cogs the football.
His blocking has been uneven with a fair share of good and bad reps while his snap timing needs work, firing off the ball too late too often. But he’s improve his overall game throughout the season, posting solid games against the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, before struggling out on the edge versus New England Patriots veteran linebacker Anfernee Jennings back in Week 14.
A tight end who needed to refine his game, it’s reasonable to expect him to make a jump in 2024, his second-year in the league. Tight end is a tough position to make the NFL jump to, even for blockers like Washington, and many tight ends have seen their games dramatically change in their second seasons.