The Steelers made their first wave of cuts to get down to Tuesday's mandatory roster limit of 75, and an additional move included the release of a player who has a couple of Super Bowl rings.
The Steelers believe they have a rookie class with a lot of potential, and this was reflected in the initial wave of moves because none of those released was a rookie. The players waived included LB Brandon Renkart, CB David Pittman, FB Dwayne Wright and G Adrian Jones. Rookie guard Chris Scott was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, and veteran OLB Andre Frazier – a part of the team for both Super Bowls XL and XLIII – was released from the injured reserve list.
Renkart, a first-year player from Rutgers, was signed after the team already had assembled at Saint Vincent College for training camp, partially as a hedge against the loss of depth when Frazier's knee prevented him from participating.
Wright was part of a fullback exchange that also took place after the team was at camp. The Steelers waived undrafted rookie Demetrius Taylor, who was trying to convert from college defensive lineman to NFL fullback, and signed Wright, who had been waived by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Pittman, once a third-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens, was signed by the team in February. His career was made up of eight games, including one start, for the Ravens in 2007. Ironically, his only NFL start came against the Steelers on Dec. 30 of that season.
Jones was on his way to the UFL when the Steelers signed him on the eve of training camp in response to the injuries sustained by Willie Colon and Chris Scott. Jones, a sixth-year pro from Kansas, had NFL starting experience at a couple of offensive line positions, and the Steelers thought he might be part of the solution to fill the void left by those injuries.
Scott, a fifth-round draft choice from Tennessee, would have been in the mix to replace the injured Colon at right tackle, but he broke his foot while working out on his own in late June in preparation for his first NFL training camp. Now placed on the PUP list, Scott will miss the first six weeks of the regular season, and then he will be able to practice with the team for three weeks without counting on their 53-man roster. After that time, the Steelers will have to make a decision on Scott – either add him to the roster, place him on injured reserve, or waive him.
Frazier originally joined the Steelers as an undrafted rookie in 2005. He played in 11 games that season, plus all three AFC playoff games, where he contributed on special teams. He was injured in the AFC Championship Game win over the Denver Broncos and was placed on the injured reserve list before Super Bowl XL.
Frazier spent 2006 with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he split 2007 between the Bengals and Steelers. By 2008, he was regarded as one of the Steelers' core special teams players, but he had been dogged by knee injuries throughout his professional career. Signed to a contract extension in the 2009 offseason, Frazier reported to training camp in July with a knee injury that put him on the physically unable to perform list. He was then placed on injured reserve, and was on that list until being released Tuesday. Because Frazier already was on IR, he didn't count against the team's 80-man roster limit.
The roster moves leave the Steelers with 75 players, and they will have to make 22 more moves before Saturday at 6 p.m.