If you once played for the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the 2014 season, then you might have had a good couple of days, and you might have been tight end David Johnson. But if you had only played for the Steelers within the past two seasons, then you might well have had a rough few days lately.
Three former Steelers have recently found themselves also describing themselves as former members of several other teams, as two were released, while another failed to report. Two of them were released by the Steelers mid-season in 2015, while the third was not re-signed and instead settled a veteran-minimum contract.
We shall kick things off with former Steelers kicker Josh Scobee, for whom the team traded a sixth-round pick during the 2015 preseason when they were in need of their third different kicker. He was released after four games when he missed four of his 10 field goal attempts, as well as an extra point try.
While he failed to catch on with a team for the rest of the 2015 season—he later revealed that he was dealing with an injury during his final game, during which he missed two potential game-clinching field goals—he was given a contract with the Saints in March.
Just two months later, however, he finds himself looking for a job again, as New Orleans released him on Tuesday, leaving them with just one kicker on the roster currently. The Steelers currently have three kickers on their roster.
As much as Pro Football Focus continues to beat the Brandon Boykin drum, the fifth-year cornerback is looking for his fourth team in the past calendar year after the Eagles traded him, the Steelers evidently made little effort to re-sign him, and now the Panthers released him after signing him to a veteran-minimum contract.
Carolina rescinded the franchise tag of Josh Norman soon after signing Boykin in late March, but like Scobee, after just two months with the team, he was released. It’s worth noting that the defending NFC Champions drafted three cornerbacks. Boykin, by the way, was released to make room for 2014 Steelers fifth-round cornerback Shaquille Richardson.
We wrap things up with the oddest story of the lot, that being the circuitous path of former Steelers running back/wide receiver Dri Archer, a 2015 third-round draft pick, who was released mid-season after being limited to the role of kick returner.
Archer was supposedly offered a handful of practice squad opportunities during the year, but declined all of them. He signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Jets in early February, but was waived earlier this month, and claimed off waivers by the Bills, another AFC East team.
Rather than report, however, after more than a week, Buffalo yesterday put him on the Reserve/Did Not Report list after he failed to show up for the team. It’s unclear why, but it seems his chances of ever forging any sort of meaningful NFL career are quickly fading.
All of this reflects in one way or another poorly on some of the Steelers’ recent personnel decisions. They drafted Archer in the third round, but released him within two years, and he has already been released once and put on the Did Not Report list.
They traded a fifth-round pick for a cornerback that has already been released off a veteran-minimum deal within two months. They traded a sixth-round pick and paid a high salary for a kicker who is also looking for his second post-Steelers team after Pittsburgh released him within four games. But at least now they have one lone member of the 2009 draft class back again.