Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review
Trying to revamp a stagnant running game, the Steelers released their leading rushing from a season ago — Jonathan Dwyer — Saturday afternoon to get down to the league-mandated 53-man roster.
The Steelers decided to keep the recently acquired Felix Jones instead of Dwyer to fill a banged up running back unit that will be without second-round pick Le’Veon Bell for an extended period of time and possibly Isaac Redman and Will Johnson for the season opener.
It surely is a gamble to let go a young, talented and healthy running back like Dwyer this early in the season, but it was a decision the Steelers felt they needed to make. Dwyer continuing issues with his conditioning and his ball security ultimately proved to be his undoing with the Steelers.
Dwyer was the Steelers’ first pick in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, and he had played in 21 games during his career with the team, with all six of his starts coming in 2012. During that 2012 season, Dwyer led the team in rushing with 623 yards on 156 carries (4.0 average), and he scored two touchdowns. He recorded back-to-back 100-yard games – 122 on 17 carries in Cincinnati on Oct. 21, and 107 on 17 carries vs. Washington on Oct. 28.
Dwyer was to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
The Steelers also cut a number of recent draft picks including CB Terry Hawthorne, NT Alameda Ta’amu and WR Justin Brown.
Also released were P Brian Moorman, CB Josh Victorian, LB Marshall McFadden, TE Jamie McCoy, WR Reggie Dunn, OL Mike Golic Jr., OL Joe Madsen, OL Chris Hubbard, DE Brian Arnfelt, LB Alan Baxter, LB Terence Garvin, CB Devin Smith, WR Kashif Moore, RB Alvester Alexander, TE Nathan Overbay, T Joe Long, LB Brian Rolle and S Ross Ventrone.
Making the 53-man roster were WR Derek Moye and LB Kion Wilson.
The Steelers also activated TE Heath Miller from the physically unable to perform list.