Steelers Waiving Of RB Jonathan Dwyer Not Surprising

Jonathan Dwyer, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft, was waived by the team on Saturday as they chose to keep the newly acquired Felix Jones instead.

During his three seasons with the Steelers, the Georgia Tech product rushed for 774 yards on 181 carries and two touchdowns.

Dwyer, who was given a one-year, $1.323 million restricted tender this past offseason, didn’t help his cause during the preseason as he failed to properly read his blocking on several plays and also fumbled twice.

The Steelers trading for Jones last Friday was a good sign that Dwyer’s job was not safe. The young running back has also had conditioning issues since his rookie season and that very well could have played into the decision to waive him as well.

With Dwyer now out of the picture, Jones, Isaac Redman and LaRod Stephens-Howling will be counted on to hold down the fort until rookie second-round draft pick Le’Veon Bell is ready to return from the foot injury that he suffered during the preseason.

While unfortunate, Dwyer’s release on Saturday was not a huge surprise.


  • Henry

    Can we get a post that has the final 53 man in its entirety?

  • reg38

    With some savings w/ the cut of Dwyer do we know how much under the cap the Steelers are? Enough to sign a backup OL off waivers?

  • Lisa Legs

    Dwyer tapped out one too many times……
    Steelers are now the Leveon and Felix show
    Redman could be gone next year or sooner
    if they go 8-8.

  • Lisa Legs

    Seattle cuts Robinson FB, must be Spencer Ware survived.
    Robinson might be a good pickup for steelers. Or Ware.

  • dgh57

    The fact that Dwyer got the most chances to show what he could do and still be cut is really telling of his abilities of running behind a ZBS. If you don’t have vision and cutting ability then you’re not suited for this new ZBS. Fumbleitis didn’t help his cause either.

  • Jason Brant

    He really did not perform well in the preseason games. Judging from the move the Steelers made to get Jones, I’m guessing this was prevalent at camp as well.

  • JPDQ

    Unreal. Cut the only healthy back we’ve had all preseason and our leading rusher from last year? For a guy who was what, the 3rd string back for the Eagles? Maybe fourth? After two weeks in our system? With Redman STILL unable to start a game?

    I’ve admitted before that Dwyer was an avg back, just like Redman, but he was unquestionably the most effective runner the Steelers had last year. Consider me floored, and from this point forward a 100% anti-Tomlin Steelers fan. This guy needs someone to explain to him how to field a professional football team.

    The stats don’t lie – the guy who was the most effective back the Steelers had last year and the only one who was able to remain healthy this year was just cut. Good luck w/ Felix The Human Hospital Chart Jones and Red Cross Redman. It’s Max Starks all over again.

    Once again, Tomlin, you’ve made your bed…

  • Michael Pearce

    This is exactly what I have been saying about the release of Dwyer. I saw it coming but we are now left with a muddled mess in the backfield. Jones is a 4th string RB and Dwyer was our best all around back. I really dont know where this leaves us. This could get ugly if Bell is not back soon.

  • Amuzon12

    This is a surprise for me. I felt Dwyer played well enough to earn a roster spot. The Felix Jones trade and him making the team is yet another surprise. I guess this is why I am commenting on these boards instead of coaching the Steelers. I hope I am wrong, but a few injuries in critical positions will make this team look very average this year.

  • Pete

    I’m surprised but I think they decided early on they were going to let Dwyer go. Dwyer ran well enough in the preseason. In game 2 he had a 4.9 avg and in game 4 he had a 4.7 avg. He did put the ball on the ground twice which didn’t earn him any points toward making the team. But it sure is strange how a guy can go from fighting for the #2 position to out on the street.

    I don’t know what politics went into this but Jones is a 1st round bust, slipped to 4th in the Eagles preseason depth at RB and now he’s gunning for starter with the Steelers? Dwyer has got some bad juju.

  • Pete

    4.9 avg and 4.7 avg in games 2 and 4 is not running well? He did put the ball on the ground twice in preseason but should that cost a guy who was gunning for the #2 spot his walking papers? In the 2 games Jones played, he ran for a 3.6 avg and 4 avg. There’s politics in this decision no question. Even the main stream media is surprised. I wish Dwyer better luck.

  • rich myros

    best way to make the team as a running back. Don’t practice, don’t play, be injured= 1st string,

  • Jason Brant

    He did not run very well. He missed a lot of cuts, read his blocks poorly, and fumbled twice.

    Statistics can be deceiving.

  • Jason Brant

    Honestly, and this is just from my layman point of view, it didn’t look like he adapted to the outside zone.

  • Bruce Mastorovich

    Jones came in with no practice and was able to keep drives moving running behind the 2nd string line

  • greeny

    Plus Tomlin will have Felix Jones run kicks back to further run the risk of injury.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yards per carry is a just a small fraction of the story, man.

  • Matthew Marczi

    His $1.323 contract is what made him expendable the most. Otherwise I don’t know if they bother going with Jones over him.

  • mrljboyce

    We need zone cut-back RBs. LSH, BELL and Jones are those types of backs.

  • JPDQ

    Exactly. Dwyer was a marked man in this system. I’ve had it with Tomlin and his ridiculous ego. We’ll be regretting this decision in a month when Redman is hurt and Felix Jones shows exactly why he was a third string back for the freakin Eagles.

  • charles

    This move has Todd Haley written all over it. The steelers have gone from trying to find a Bettis replica to Haley’s offense. All the backs are quicker with at least good acceleration. Haven’t seen enough of Bell to tell about him, his tape that you put up on him did not reveal speed, however seeing him in a little action makes me think that Haley is trying to get a clone of Jamaal Charles.
    The Steelers fans, I think, are going to get a version of Haley’s offense and sandlot Ben. Personally I am starting to see the picture and this could generate a very exciting Steelers offense.
    The defense could very well be a pleasant surprise as well. I am starting to get the feeling that Vince Williams is BETTER than Ray Lewis.

    Jeremy, Matt, we are going to the Super Bowl if our Oline stays healthy…

  • cencalsteeler

    This team is well put together. They do need to stay healthy. The O-line needs to gel and click on all cylinders (and this means no drive killing penalties). The special teams play needs to be a major contributor for field position. The D needs to create turnovers and the Offense needs to put up more 7’s than 3’s. If this team can somehow manage this formula, there is no reason we should not be playoff bound.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Ummmm??? Are these the right comments for this article? How could people be commenting over 20 hrs ago on an article that was just posted this morning? New server problems again?

  • Mike.H

    Aside from the $1.3M contract, it’s the fumbling problems that done Dwyer in.

  • Gary Thomas

    Hritz needs to be drug tested….lol.but hoping hes correct

  • Gary Thomas

    Though he had a good preseason….missed assignments and a LD hurt him

  • Dom

    It is there if you take a look

  • Dom

    Eventually 😛

  • Matthew Marczi

    I believe a lot of random comments have been scattershot across multiple articles…probably some side effect of the recent server move.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Oh, no doubt that played a major role as well.

  • Bell Cow

    Hope your’re right, but 11-5 seems extremely optimistic for this team. There are to many question marks with this team and a lack of quality depth at too many positions. Also, its naive to think that Ben will play 16 games since he’s only done it once in his career. This is a 8 or 9 win team. They need another solid draft class and some young guys to grow up in order to get back on track.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am with you here Bell Cow…I see 8-10 wins because of our problem last year which is lack of quality depth which had been a Steeler staple and why we were successful in the past IMO. I also see questions at OLB and OL which will be a determinate in this years success.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    In the regular season Dwyer wasn’t known as a fumbler and I am sure they knew this. Dwyer was just a young unprofessional kid who never grasped the concept of what it took to be a NFL HB. I liked the kid a lot and wish he was on the team because I think he was talented but he just didnt have it click for him.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I know early on Kirby said that Dwyer was making all the right reads when he ran the ball. Not sure how it was in the last couple of games but this suggests that it wasn’t whether or not he was making the reads but maybe money which some suggest. I still take Dwyer over Redman because of youth and health.

  • Rod Hedrick

    I think we are a 10 and 6 team with a 2 game slide either way. IF everyone stays healthy we could go 12 and 4, if the ball bounces the wrong way or major injuries hit we could easily be 8 and 8.

  • dgh57

    Yes, it seems like I do remember hearing Kirby say something like that but I think it was from last year. I think it’s a combination of things with Dwyer that sent him packing. They decided to go with Redman, despite his age, because they like his work ethic. I mean who would you rather have a guy that works out all off season, loses weight, and hires a speed coach, showing he’s willing to at least try to adapt to this new ZBS? Or a guy who doesn’t take his job serious and shows up at the OTAs overweight and rumors of him tapping out in games. Fumbles didn’t help his cause either! Like you said money was involved as they decided to go with 4 RBs and save that $1.3m due Dwyer. If we were talking the regular season right now I think Redman would’ve been playing, they just know what they have in Redman and were being extra cautious with him in wanting him to be ready week 1. So I’ll take Redman(for the same reason I like Ike Taylor) because I like his attitude, maturity, and work ethic of which it may very well pay off for him this season.

  • MrTeabag

    In a month Bell will be back so we won’t have to worry. Or Tomlin might make himself the running back like he did the special teams coach. LOL

  • MrTeabag

    I agree with your assessment. We were a 10-6 team last year that had a few balls bounce the wrong way and way too many injuries.

  • Eric

    An UNUSUAL injury situation kept us from being a 12 – 4 team last year. 9 of the 10 players with the highest salaries on the team were injured and missed time. Those injured players were Roethlisberger, Woodley, Harrison, Colon, Miller, Taylor, Pouncey, Palumalu & Miller. Timmons was the only top 10 highest paid miss time. Although I do not have the data to confirm this statement, I doubt that any other team had that many injuries to its star players, possibly ever. In addition to those starters, all three of our top 3 draft picks, DeCastro, Adams & Spence, were injured for a ood part of the season. Again, nothing typical. Those of you claiming that we are the same team as last year need to adjust those expectations in favor of a better injury situation than last year.