First call: Ex-Steelers RB looking for a job;  hot Starling Marte is part of a viral video moment

First call: Ex-Steelers RB looking for a job; hot Starling Marte is part of a viral video moment

Wednesday’s “First Call” records an ex-Steeler who needs a new place to play. A former Pitt Panther has his eyes set on the NBA. Starling Marte is on fire with the New York Mets. And a free agent wanted by some Steelers fans is heading south.

On the free market

Former Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels is looking for a new job.

He was released by the Arizona Cardinals. The franchise was set to make the move after signing former Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams. The Cardinals are looking for a running back to team up with James Conner after Chase Edmonds left Miami when he signed with the Dolphins this offseason.

Samuels last played with the Steelers in 2020. He played three games with the Houston Texans in 2021.

Samuels’ best moment with the Steelers came at Heinz Field when he rushed 19 times for 142 yards and caught two passes for 30 yards in a 17-10 win over the New England Patriots. in 2018.

The Steelers are looking for a replacement running back. But I wouldn’t bet on signing Samuels to fill that role.

so much for that

Akeem Hicks is a popular name among Steelers fans browsing the free agent feed lately.

The former Chicago Bear could have added something to the Steelers defensive line. But he’s going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead.

Hicks was given a one-year contract worth up to $10 million, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

That’s slightly higher than the $9 million Ndamukong Suh earned with the Buccaneers in 2021.

Due to injuries, Hicks played only nine games last year, finishing with 3.5 sacks and 25 tackles. In 2017, Hicks recorded 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for the Chicago loss.

Decision day for Trey

Former Pitt Panther Trey McGowens is sticking to his NBA plans.

Going through CBS Sports’ Jon RothsteinMcGowens will not return to Nebraska and will keep his name in the NBA draft process.

Omaha.com reports that McGowens practiced for the Los Angeles Lakers this week. McGowens averaged 9.2 points, four rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals in two seasons with the Cornhuskers.

McGowens scored 11 points per game during his two years at Oakland before transferring to Lincoln.


As we reported in Tuesday’s “First Call,” New York Mets outfielder Starling Marte homered against the Washington Nationals on a four-RBI day.

Well, the former Pirate did it again on Tuesday.

That opened the floodgates for the Mets. They picked up a 10-0 win.

At the end of this call, you heard the reference to Marte’s heat. He started May at .225 with two homers. He closed it at .286 with six home runs, getting a hit in 12 of his last 13 games.

By the way, did you see that fan celebrating at the end of the video while holding the baby in his arms? He caught Marte’s home run on a ricochet while holding his child in a video that has gone viral.

Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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