In some not so surprising news today, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have released cornerback Bryant McFadden and wide receiver Arnaz Battle and officially announced that they have signed safety Myron Rolle, wide receiver Juamorris Stewart and linebacker Brandon Hicks to future contracts.
The release of McFadden and Battle were expected as the Steelers start to clear salary cap room for 2012. McFadden was scheduled to count nearly $2.667 against the 2012 cap and Battle was scheduled to count almost $1.3625 million. By releasing both players prior to June 1st, the Steelers will eat $166,668 in dead money with McFadden and $325,000 in dead money with Battle. The moves basically save almost $3.54 million in 2012 salary cap money.
The Steelers also announced that that they have waived tight end Miguel Chavis and linebacker Erik Clanton in addition.
McFadden was originally drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft and played out his rookie contract. Following the 2008 season he was a free agent and signed a two year, $10 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. McFadden played just 1 season in Arizona and was traded back to the Steelers during the 2010 draft. He was the starting left cornerback for all of the 2010 season and started out as the starter in 2011 as well before losing his job to William Gay. McFadden dropped way down the depth chart and ended 2011 as a special teams contributor only. McFadden will best be remembered for his two game saving pass breakups in the 2005 playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts in his rookie season that followed the unforgettable fumble by Jerome Bettis that gave Colts quarterback Peyton Manning one last crack to win the game. The two breakups led to Mike Vanderjagt missing a game-tying field goal as a result.
Battle was signed by the Steelers early in the 2010 free agency period and served as a special teams ace for the Steelers in 2010 and 2011. He was the special teams captain in 2011 and did not record a reception during his two seasons in Pittsburgh. Chavis and Clanton were both signed prior to training camp last season and spent the 2011 season on injured reserve due to injuries suffered before the season started.