Whether it was his yo-yo weight problem, or his fumbling, Jonathan Dwyer is no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dwyer could be called back today when, as expected, the Steelers place Matt Spaeth on injured reserve with the call-back
designation, but that's not the Steelers' style.
They've in all likelihood said their final goodbye to Dwyer, who led them in
rushing last season with 623 yards (4.0).
Dwyer becomes the first leading rusher jettisoned by the Steelers since 1995, when Barry Foster was traded to the Carolina Panthers, who cut him at training camp.
Dwyer was one of 22 players released by the team Saturday afternoon. The Steelers also activated Heath Miller off the PUP
list. The remainder of the cuts were:
RB Alvester Alexander; WRs Justin Brown, Reggie Dunn and Kashif Moore; TEs Jamie McCoy and Nathan Overbay; OL Joe Long,
Chris Hubbard, Mike Golic Jr., and Joe Madsen; DL Alameda Ta'amu and Brian Arnfelt; LBs Alan Baxter, Marshall McFadden, Brian Rolle and Terence Garvin; DBs Terry Hawthorne, Devin Smith, Josh Victorian and Ross Ventrone; and P Brian Moorman.
The following are eligible to be called back for the eight-man practice squad, if they clear waivers:
Dunn, Brown, Moore, Smith, Hawthorne, Victorian, Alexander, McFadden, Ventrone, Baxter, Overbay, Garvin, Golic, Madsen,
Arnfelt, Hubbard, Ta'amu and Long.
Here's the breakdown of the Steelers' current roster:
QB (3): The two veterans plus rookie Landry Jones.
RB (5): Isaac Redman and Felix Jones will battle for the starting job until Le'Veon Bell returns from injury. LaRod Stephens
-Howling can return kickoffs and be used as a wild-card scatback, a la Chris Rainey from a year ago. Will Johnson is the
WR (5): Rookie Markus Wheaton joins three veterans, along with the story of the off-season, Penn State and Rochester High's
Derek Moye, the 6-5, 210-pounder who led the team with 10 receptions and 149 receiving yards this preseason.
TE (5): Spaeth and Miller are on hold for now, so David Paulson, David Johnson and in-camp veteran acquisition Michael Palmer
will likely be active for at least the first month of the season.
OL (8): Joining the five starters, Kelvin Beachum and Pitt/Franklin Regional's John Malecki is No. 4 tackle Guy Whimper. But
the waiver wire will be monitored closely.
DL (6): The Steelers went with the better player, Loni Fangupo over Ta'amu, in spite of the four-year age difference
in the second-year nose tackles. It's proof that the Steelers went with the better players in making their roster decisions,
as opposed to looking at upside.
LB (8): Behind the four starters are Chris Carter, first-round pick Jarvis Jones, sixth-round pick Vince Williams and Kion Wilson. The latter two are buck -- or play-calling -- ILBs, as the Steelers begin grooming an eventual replacement for Larry Foote.
DB (10): The surprise here is CB Isaiah Green, who, like Wilson, signed with the team at the turn of the new year. Green was
once timed in the 40 in 4.2 seconds and fought off a late camp injury to beat out Victorian as the fifth cornerback. Damon Cromartie-Smith, a three-year member of the practice squad, finally made the team as the fifth safety.
Specialists (3): Drew Butler was pushed by the veteran Moorman to become a better punter than he was a year ago. Shaun Suisham and Greg Warren had no competition.