As expected, several players around the NFL are being released following the 2022 NFL Draft and on Wednesday a former draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers was jettisoned from his team.
According to the Los Angeles Rams, defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr. has been waived. Brooks was originally selected by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Maryland. While he played just a handful of snaps as a rookie in 2020, Brooks was thought to have a chance at a more prominent role in the Steelers’ defense in 2021 after the team lost starting slot cornerback Mike Hilton in free agency.
At the start of the Steelers 2021 training camp, Brooks was considered one of the strong candidates to be the team’s starting slot corner for the season. After an injury-marred summer, however, Brooks was waived injured by the Steelers and a few days later waived from the team’s Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement.
It was thought when Brooks was waived with an injury settlement that he might eventually circle back to the Steelers as a member of their practice squad later in the season after the terms of that settlement expired. The Rams, however, signed Brooks to their practice squad in early September. With Los Angeles last season, Brooks had three total tackles in eight games on the active roster. All of his snaps came on special teams, however.
The Steelers have made a lot of moves in their secondary so far during this offseason. Those moves included the team not only re-signing safeties Terrell Edmunds, Miles Killebrew and Karl Joseph, but also signing free agent safety Damontae Kazee as well. The team also re-signed cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Arthur Maulet this offseason in addition to signing free agent cornerback Levi Wallace.
The Steelers now have a 90-man roster so while not totally out of the question, it’s hard to imagine bringing back Brooks. He was, however, a former draft pick of theirs so there is a tiny chance that might happen.