Steelers release running back Isaac Redman

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

After three consecutive deactivations, the Steelers have released the long-standing veteran running back. Kion Wilson was signed from the practice squad to take his place.

It's a sad end to the Steelers career of a fan favorite.

Isaac Redman, the undrafted running back out of Bowie State, was released by the only team for which he's played in his career, failing to finish out his one season under a $1.3 million restricted free agency tender contract he signed this offseason.

To complete the move, the Steelers signed linebacker Kion Wilson off their practice squad to the active roster.

His release marks a complete turnaround from the Steelers' initial projections for the position in 2013. Both Redman and Jonathan Dwyer were offered $1.3 million one-year deals in RFA, and both signed them. Dwyer did not make the team out of training camp, but was re-signed before the Steelers' Week 2 game after Redman rushed eight times for nine yards against Tennessee in the season-opener.

It seems both players were there to compete for depth behind Le'Veon Bell, the second-round pick the Steelers looked to be the focal point of the running game. Bell was injured in training camp, and missed the first three games of the season. Since coming back in Week 4, he leads the team in rushing.

Along with a trade for Felix Jones, Redman went from the starting position to the doghouse, and now, to waivers.

Redman rushed for 120 yards in the Steelers' last playoff game, a 29-23 loss to the Denver Broncos at the end of the 2011 season. Previous starter Rashard Mendenhall had torn his ACL in Week 17 of that season, and running backs coach Kirby Wilson was badly burned in a house fire in the days leading up to the game. Still, Redman had one of the best performances of his career in the losing effort.

His best game was probably the same as the last game in which the Steelers had a 100-yard rusher. He cracked off 147 yards in a Week 9 win over the Giants last season. Since then, the Steelers running game has gone dry, by and large.

Bell had 93 yards on 19 carries against Baltimore, spearheading a 143-yard team rushing effort. Redman watched the game from the sideline, as Bell, Jones, Dwyer and fullback Will Johnson were activated.

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