According to NFL rules, teams have until this afternoon to whittle their roster down to 75 men. The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to do things on their own timetable. Yesterday afternoon, a bunch of future insurance agents and used car salesmen got the dreaded news that they had been cut.
About a dozen players got a visit from the Turk. A few more were stashed away on injured reserve. Sean Spence, who hasn’t had a single healthy moment since being drafted last year yet continues to be on the team’s radar, was placed on the PUP list with the option of being activated after week 6. I’m not sure exactly how the new PUP rule works, I know one and only one player per season may be return after being placed on it, but I’m not sure if you have to designate which guy that is beforehand. If you do and they wasted it on Spence, then both Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell will take up space on the active 53 man roster despite the fact neither one is expected to be ready for awhile.
Nick Williams, a big but raw 7th round DE out of Samford, was placed on injured reserve ending his season. CB DeMarcus Van Dyke and OG Justin Cheadle were placed on something called the waived/injured list which gives other teams a chance to claim their rights. If there are no takers, they too will be stashed on the injured reserve for the rest of the year.
As far as actual cuts go, there were only two names of note.
Running back Baron Batch no longer wears the Black and Gold. After all the injuries this preseason, the fact the Steelers felt compelled to trade for Felix Jones instead of turning to Batch pretty much spelled his doom. Injuries and general ineffectiveness plagued Batch throughout his tenure here as he becomes the second of Kevin Colbert‘s late round RB busts (Anybody remember Frank Summers?)
In honor of Batch’s exile, let’s have a moment of silence for our old pal Hennessey.
The other notable name belongs to linebacker Stevenson Sylvester. Sylvester has hung around since being drafted in the 5th round back in 2010. It was initially hoped he could be groomed as a future starter at ILB although he never distinguished himself. He saw his most playing time when he was pressed into action last season but did nothing to open any eyes. Sylvester was a valuable special teams performer and his release may be related to the horrific special teams play this preseason.
The other newly unemployed are a ragtag bunch of nobodies. Tackle D’Anthony Batiste is the first of the putrid back-ups to be sent packing. Joining him is tackle Mike Farrell. One of last year’s preseason stars, WR David Gilreath, fell off the radar this year and was cut along with receivers Tyler Shaw and J.D. Woods. Cornerback Ryan Steed saw playing time on Saturday but evidently it wasn’t enough. A thin depth chart at TE and RB couldn’t save tight end Peter Tuitupou or running back Jeremy Wright. Finally, quarterback John Parker Wilson can set his sights on calling games for ESPNU.