3 former Patriots that failed with their new teams in 2022
Aug 28, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Mike Hughes (23) breaks up a pass intended for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Gunner Olszewski (89) during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Former Patriots that failed with their new teams in 2022
Gunner Olszewski – WR/ST
2021 stats w/Patriots: 16 games – 2 receptions for 31 yards | 26 punt returns for 309 yards, 11.9 Y/R |18 kick returns for 416 yards, 23.1 Y/Rt
2022 stats w/Steelers: 16 games – 5 receptions for 53 yards | 8 punt returns for 55 yards, 6.9 Y/R | 3 kick returns for 46 yards, 15.3 Y/Rt
Although he was never quite integrated as a wide receiver in the Patriots’ offense, Olszewski became the go-to guy for punt and kick returns in New England. Belichick found the niche that seemingly worked best for him, and his performance in 2020 earned him First-Team All-Pro honors as a punt returner.
His final season in Foxboro may not have lived up to that year, but his production had teams interested in acquiring him during free agency. Olszewski signed with the Steelers in March of last year, a two-year contract worth $4.2 million.
Losing Olszewski was a big blow to the Patriots’ special teams, which had always been a stout unit under Belichick up to that point. Unfortunately, that was not the case throughout the 2022 season, but it was not due to the former returner’s absence.
For his new team in Pittsburgh, Olszewski could not replicate what he accomplished with the Patriots. Despite seeing a bit more action offensively, his lack of inclusion on special teams and his decline in production were evident.
How the Steelers will use him in the future is yet to be seen, but so far, Olszewski still needs to display the probable reasons why the team chose to sign him.