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Former Steelers that didn’t survive cut-down day with other franchises

As rosters were reduced to 53 all around the NFL, BTSC highlights players that once had Steelers ties who find themselves without a team.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

While Steelers Nation and players alike constantly were checking their electronic devices and phones all day long to see which names would wind up on the 2018 53-man roster, men with ties to the Black-and-gold awaited their fates in other cities as well. While the biggest name on the list was Martavis Bryant, due to his dismissal in Oak-town, other names familiar to Steelers fans are now looking for love from other organizations.

WR Martavis Bryant-Oakland

While the former fourth-rounder from 2014 was slow to pick up John Gruden’s offense, the decision to cut losses with Bryant ultimately stemmed from reports of another looming suspension. The trade of Martavis for a third-rounder looks even more brilliant now. As a Steeler, Bryant had 1,988 total yards and 18 TDs, playing in only 36 games of a possible 72. His personal demons led to suspensions and destroyed what might have been a brilliant career.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

WR Markus Wheaton-Philadelphia

The Oregon State Beaver was picked in the third-round in 2013 by the Steelers, but he only amassed 107 catches, 1,508 yards and eight TDs in a disappointing tenure in Pittsburgh. Leaving town as a free agent in 2017, Wheaton tanked in Chicago and signed with the Super Bowl champs in 2018.

OL Kyle Friend-Carolina

The undrafted lineman from Mechanicsburg initially went to the Jets in 2016. Eventually, on and off of the practice squad there, Friend spent 2017 on Pittsburgh’s practice squad. In May, the Center ended up signing with Carolina before becoming a camp casualty.

OG Ethan Cooper-Kansas City

The undrafted free agent from IUP was a late-2017 cut by the Steelers. The Division II All-American in ‘16 spent a part of last year on the Giants’ PS. Cooper spent 2018 in two training camps with Green Bay and KC.

WR Cobi Hamilton-Indianapolis

This guy was picked in Round 6 by Cincy in 2013 and spent two stints there (with one in Philly in between), almost entirely on the practice squad. Hamilton had brief stints in Miami and Carolina before joining the Steelers in August of ‘16. In October of that year, No. 83 was promoted to the 53-man roster and played a significant role that year during the regular season and playoffs. Cobi was a final cut in 2017 and bounced around with the Texans, Cardinals and Colts. But most of his career success, was as a Steeler.

CB Doran Grant-Chicago

The Ohio State Buckeye was picked in Round 4 by the Steelers in 2015. He never graduated from the off-season roster or practice squad with Buffalo, the Giants, Jacksonville and now the Bears.

TE Scott Orndoff-Jacksonville

Seton-La Salle’s Orndoff received an injury settlement from the Steelers last year after staying at home as an UDFA. Since then, the talented TE from Pitt tried to catch on with Detroit, spent time on Cincy’s practice squad in 2017 and went to camp with the Jags in 2018.

LB Terence Garvin-Miami

Garvin was well-regarded due to his successful minicamp tryout with the Steelers in 2013. Initially assigned to the practice squad, Garvin joined the active roster less than a week later. Earning his keep as a special-teamer, the West Virginia Mountaineer notoriously broke the jaw of Cincy Punter Kevin Huber later that year. After three years as a Steeler, Garvin was a Redskin in 2016 and a Seahawk in 2017. Garvin signed with the Dolphins in 2018, but didn’t make the 53-man squad.

RB Terrell Watson-Los Angeles Chargers

Cincinnati signed the UFDA running back in 2015 and he spent all of that year on the practice squad. He was on the practice squad in Cleveland, Denver and Philadelphia in 2016. In Philly, he played one game on the active roster and scored a TD. “The Nightmare” was a camp phenom for the Steelers in 2017 and lasted on the 53-man roster before finishing the year on the practice squad. In 2018, the Azusa Pacific product was signed and released by the Giants and now the Chargers.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

DE Cashaud Lyons-Denver

The UDFA arrived in Pittsburgh after Tampa’s final cuts in 2015. He spent time on the 53-man roster and the practice squad through 2016. In 2017, Lyons failed to stick-and-stay with Tennessee, the Rams, Detroit and Chicago. Signed to a futures deal with Minnesota, Cashaud was waived in May and landed in Denver in June.

S Shamarko Thomas-Denver

The Steelers were so enamored with the Syracuse Orangeman that they traded a third-rounder in 2014 to select him in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft. He rarely made an impact, though, and was placed on the IR on Christmas Eve of 2016. That concluded his career in the Burgh. In 2017, Shamarko was a final cut of the Jets. He ended up in a Buffalo uniform for the remainder of the season. This season, he was cut by Indy on August 11th and by the Broncos yesterday.

WR Demarcus Ayers-Chicago

Ayers was a seventh-rounder of the Steelers in 2016 and spent most of the year on the practice squad. In December of that year, the Houston Cougar was promoted and showed flashes of brilliance during his short tenure, including seven catches and a score in the season finale. Ayers was a final cut in 2017 and declined the practice squad in favor of the same role in New England. Released 23 days later, Ayers joined the Bears practice squad and signed a futures deal there in January.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

OG Chris Scott-New York Giants

The 2010 fifth-rounder from Tennessee played two games in two years as a Pittsburgh Steeler. Cut and re-signed to the practice squad for the remainder of 2011, Scott ended up on practice squads in Green Bay, Tampa and Tennessee in 2012. The Bills signed Scott and he remained in Buffalo for the remainder of the season. From there, he spent four years in Carolina and played in Super Bowl 50. In 2018, he went to camp with the Giants.

C Wesley Johnson-Detroit

The Steelers’ fifth-rounder in 2014 out of Vanderbilt, playing behind Maurkice Pouncey and Cody Wallace, was waived in October of that year and ended up with the Jets shortly after. Johnson started 24 of 41 games in green-and-white at Center before signing with the Lions early in 2018.

RB Knile Davis- Chicago

Highly regarded out of Arkansas, Davis was picked in Round 3 in 2013 by the Chiefs. His kick-return of 108 yards as a rookie is tied for the longest in history, better than his 106-yarder that opened a 2014 playoff game. Davis was traded to the Packers in 2016, but was waived 13 days later and signed with the Jets only to be cut the next day. Three days later, Knile returned to KC. In 2017, the Steelers signed Davis as a free agent, but he was cut at the conclusion of camp. Knile was out of football until August when the Bears signed him.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

At the time of this writing, alleged bubble guys like Texan Sammie Coates, Will Gay with the Giants and Washington’s Ziggy Hood remain on NFL rosters. Arthur Moats has been put on the IR in Arizona. On Sunday, more moves could be made. Stick with BTSC for up-to-date Steelers news and more.

*Update: Gay was released by the Giants on Sunday.