The Arizona Cardinals have released former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels in favor of another ballcarrier. The team announced they’ve signed Darrel Williams, and in a corresponding move, released Samuels.
Samules’ time with the Cardinals was brief, signed to a futures deal in mid-January. With Arizona, he reunited with former Steelers RB coach James Saxon, who was his coach for Samuels’ rookie season.
Samuels’ 2018 year was his best as a professional, averaging 4.6 yards per carry on 56 total attempts. He also made an impact in the passing game with another 26 receptions, finding the end zone three times through the air. His best performance came in the Steelers’ huge win over the New England Patriots, rushing for 142 yards while catching a pair of passes for 30 more yards in a 17-10 victory. But that breakout performance was the peak of his career. In 2019, he averaged just 2.7 yards per carry and hardly saw the field in 2020, carrying the ball only nine times the whole year. He didn’t make the team out of the 2021 camp, and though he was brought back to the practice squad, was cut for good in late October.
Houston signed him one week later and he saw just 18 offensive snaps in the Texans’ muddied backfield, carrying the ball five times for nine yards. He ended up with Arizona earlier this year. Samuels will look to catch on elsewhere either before training camp or perhaps during it when other teams deal with injuries at the position. He’s likely to sign somewhere else, but it’s clear his NFL days are numbered. Pittsburgh is still sorting out its backfield behind Najee Harris, but a reunion with Samuels seems highly unlikely.
A fifth-round pick in 2018, Samuels finishes his Steelers career with 131 carries for 459 yards and one rushing score. He ranked a respectable 68th in our list of all-time Kevin Colbert draft picks.