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Steelers Free Agent RB Jonathan Dwyer Has Signed With The Cardinals


Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted free agent running back Jonathan Dwyer signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals late Wednesday.

Dwyer, who the Steelers drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech, rushed for 971 yards and two touchdowns on 230 regular-season carries during his four seasons in Pittsburgh.

After initially being released by the Steelers just prior to the start of the 2013 season, Dwyer was quickly re-signed after fellow running back LaRod Stephens-Howling was lost for year after suffering a knee injury in the season opener.

Dwyer will now be reunited with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who was the Steelers offensive coordinator when he was drafted. Dwyer will look to fill the spot vacated by running back Rashard Mendenhall, who announced last week he was retiring from football as an unrestricted free agent.

With Dwyer now definitely not coming back in 2014, the Steelers only have one running back currently under contract for 2014 that has game experience and that is of course starter Le’Veon Bell, who is entering his second year in the league.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Brian Tollini

    Arizona is also interested in Emmanuel Sanders, Cotchery, Keisel, Ziggy, Foote, Cowher, Woodson, and Myron Cope’s Grandson

  • Steelers12328882

    lol

  • Steelers12328882

    In all seriousness I will miss him. RB and DE, 2 positions I didn’t want to really think about for the draft, have become positions that now have zero depth. Good for Dwyer tho. I’ve never seen a player treated so poorly by the Steelers after seemingly proving himself worthy on the field.

  • cencalsteeler

    Good for Dwyer, I wish him well.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Crap! If they sign Felix back I will vomit! Virtually no backups. Good luck finding guys relatively cheaply that can run and pick up the blitz.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I know RB’s come cheaply now, but he along with Woods gone in one day? I’m pissed. They better get Cotch. The only good thing is that DL and RB seem to have a long list of FA’s out there. Pray that LSH can be back at full speed, because that would help immensely.

  • shawn

    touche

  • pat

    Current situation back up Rbs 0 starts 0 carries Wr behind AB 0 starts 8 rec offense is in trouble

  • steelster

    you forgot my dog but he said he won’t go because he is afraid of the desert.

  • shawn

    exacatly … not only are they screwing themselves by letting Woods and Dwyer go .. they are really messing up their Draft prospects … bad FA period so far … extremely disappointing … 0-3 by my count !

  • shawn

    terrible job by the FO so far … horrible actually .. i dont want Felix back !

  • ScottB

    Mitchell was a good signing and keeping Worilds over Woodley was a great move. Far from terrible.

    Dwyer was a decent back but he’s a backup. Lots of good vet RBs on the scrap heap.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Our depth was scary before today but after 2 more guys sign else where…not sure what to think…Woods was a bigger loss but Dwyer found a good niche for us. I will bet by the end of this year Tomlin will be on the hot seat.

  • Rosco

    Welcome back Redman

  • Menace_501

    As I said last yr get redman back as 3rd down back. Dependable and then get some rbs in draft

  • cencalsteeler

    I respectfully disagree. For what it’s worth, I have 0 complaints with any off season moves so far. I do agree, they should upgrade from Felix though.

  • Virdin Barzey

    That’s a bummer. Not sure why we didn’t lock him up since he was cheap.

  • steelster

    pat, let’s be realistic the whole team may be in trouble. I’m way more concerned about the defense and most likely having 8 starters with 2 years of experience or less. The odds of the steelers going 6-10 are much greater than going 10-6 and steelers fans should be ok with this. The last time we went 6-10 it brought us Big Ben the following year and the following year we won the superbowl. I don’t want to be stuck in 8-8 land to me that is hell, just ask any cowboy fan how frustrated they are.

  • M2Eberg

    Glad for Dwyer that he is getting a fresh start somewhere else, I think he will do very well. Not sure he would have ever gotten in Tomlin’s good graces or been appreciated by the Steelers. Definitely didn’t seem to be treated very well while with the Steelers.

  • Brian Tollini

    If losing a backup DE and backup RB ruins our season we have bigger problems than Ukraine.

  • costanza2k1

    One things for certain with some in Steelers Nation, will cry when someone leaves and blames FO and will cry when they sign someone…entitled fans, I suppose winning does that.

  • Rob S.

    As a Towson grad I would love to see T. West in a Steelers uniform, IF he falls to round 5. Would fill the Dwyer role. A lttle older and played FCS but dude has no give up. Dont have a link but his 4Q TD in the semi-finals this past year is a perfect example!

  • gene mann

    The Steelers West connection is still working.

  • Brian Tollini

    I agree, I think the FO has been excellent so far. Depending on the contract that Woods got, that would be the only questionable (non) move I see.

  • JohnB

    Yeah it sucks Dwyer is gone. Where oh where will we ever find a 3rd string running back?!?!

  • M2Eberg

    you mean 2nd string.

  • steelster

    Why would tomlin’s job be on the hot seat he has never had a losing season and did a fantastic job of coaching in 2013 by turning around the team after a 0-4 start.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    If there a position that can be filled easily, it is backup running back. They can get a fa cheap and find a back in the draft. LSH might be back.

  • John A Stewart

    Sad to say but the Cardinals may be better than us the standard is the standard is the bs.

  • shawn

    bad showing so far in FA for sure !

  • shawn

    why should we waste a draft pick when we already had a guy that fit a role …. wasted

  • shawn

    he had a good niche and was cheap !

  • steelster

    A little fyi, phoenix has a bar that has the largest steelerr fan turnout in the country outside of Pittsburgh. 5,000 steeler fans showed up at this bar for the last superbowl the steelers were in. Steeler Nation Baby.

  • Brian Tollini

    There is a lot of panic in Steelers Nation right now over losing a couple backups. Look, I wanted Woods back too, but losing free agents is part of the game. It is the 2nd day of free agency, take a deep breath, our franchise isn’t crumbling.

  • j m

    Back up RBs are a dime a dozen. There are 10 in the draft better than Dwyer available in Rd 5 or lower. It’s just a matter of our scouts finding them.

  • gene mann

    will they kick the Tires of Bradshaw or Scott from the RatBirds

  • steelster

    please give your reasons

  • gene mann

    The scouts maybe can add Chris Rainey pick

  • steelster

    We have a 3rd down back in bell.

  • patrick Mayfield

    that would appear to be out of character…

  • steelster

    just go out and sign mjd, he is still only 29 years old. Sign him to a short term deal he would be a great compliment to bell.

  • harding36

    So, you guys have seen Jonathan Dwyer play football, right? I mean, he sort of sucks at it.

  • T R

    Glad some thinking reasonably. Dwyer was only back cause LSH went down. Glad I had chance to meet dwyer. Good luck to him and woods but. U think FAs and draft are better then them. Maybe we can get Sproiles, Chris Jonson or…. Beaut won’t miss neither backups woods or Dwyer.

  • steelster

    The cardinals are better than us. They were the only team to win in Seattle last year.

  • shawn

    Mitchell was not a good signing … Verner was a good signing for barely more than we payed … (proven player vs uhhhh

    secondly we just lost Woods, Dwyer and prob gonna lose Hood … while all these weren’t great players they were all solid and were part of the foundation … now they have to replace them with draft picks … we already had to many needs in the draft … this is clearly going to turn their draft into a circus by what I’m seeing …

  • shawn

    u like losing Woods, Dwyer and Hood … why in the world .. and dont be so high on Mitchell until season end … I’m not overly optimistic … verner would have been a much better pick up for only slightly more money ….

    VERY disappointing … Denver & Pats making bold moves … we …. not so much !

  • steelster

    all your mocks have dri archer in them and you said that he can be a backup running back, I’m a little confused or someone else is.

  • M2Eberg

    I definitely do not think that “he sort of sucks at it”. I really believe that he will prove many of his doubters wrong this next year. This is the NFL right? Not everyone that plays football can get one of these 32 teams to pay them to play this game.

  • steelster

    I really don’t think Terry Bradshaw needs a kick in the tire. He still has a lot of energy.

  • Jason White

    He has poor vision and that’s about it. When he does find that hole he turns it into 30 yards and drags half the defense with him.

  • shawn

    Yes i like Dri … but he is a change of pace back/x factor… we still need a short yardage back … and not to mention Dwyer did that well and was a solid main back up RB if need be …so although he is not great it was a BIG loss … not happy we have to go that route in the draft now … could have used that pick on another DB .. I want them to take as many chances as possible with DBs to get it done for good !

  • shawn

    its not getting better either … this rate another 8-8 season is in the cards .. but yes u are right it is early, I’m just not optimistic from any of the moves I’ve seen outside of signing Wallace for a few yrs … but hey its still early 1st quarter !

  • shawn

    nice comment … did u even see games last yr ??

  • sean mcmartin

    After back to back 8-8′s change could be a good thing. woods was worth keeping. Hope the injuries don’t kill this season again..

  • Shannon Stephenson

    He did turn the season around but at the end of the day we ended up 8-8 for a 2nd year. IMO the strength of the Steelers has been good depth in the past and that is where we have been lacking the last few years so to let guys go who could come cheap play for us in a pinch and knows the system is valuable. I am over reacting but I am not too far off. If Tomlin ends up 6-10 that is 3 sub standard years in a row and he must go.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    all teams will sustain injuries and if you do not have good depth you will lose. Last year was a good example of this. It may not seem important today but if we do not have quality back up when we need them we are destined for a repeat season like last year. Lets learn from our mistakes.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Tollini is thinking reasonable and then you think we might go after Sproles or Johnson…lmao!!!!!

  • Douglas Andrews

    Remember your talking about backups and 1 starter in Hood who has yet to sign with a team yet. Losing Dwyer and Woods both guys that I like is not gonna make or break the Steelers. We were a 8-8 team last year and if they brought back every FA from that team what would we expect our record to be? You have to let a few of these guys go to improve the team in FA or through the draft. If they thought either one of these guys were valuable backups they would have signed them right off the bat. Now it remains to be seen what happens with Hood but so far the FO has done a pretty good job. I’m sure they will be bringing in more FA’s also so I’m more than willing to give them some more time to improve the team.

  • Matt Manzo

    I think what Tomlins gonna do is add depth. He’s getting rid of a lot of players so they can be replaced.

  • shawn

    you are right in only one thing … it is early and they have more time … but so far they are getting a FAILING grade from ME !!!

    Yes, those guys are back ups but they were important cogs and the most disappointing point is now they HAVE to address these issues in the DRAFT and i didnt want them focusing on these BS kinda picks … really wanted to go Hard in the Secondary for Ball Hawks and other playmakers !!!

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Bell should be that short yardage back. Why have him be the guy if dwyer takes short yardage carries?

  • steelster

    We are making all these judgements on Dwyer without knowing what the cardinals are paying him. Maybe the cardinals offered him twice the amount the steelers did, who knows?

  • shawn

    because he needs a breather every once in a while … and what happens when he is hurt for a game or two ???

  • shawn

    why should we be wasting another pick on a rb when we had one .. ?? we already need a change of pace back … add a back up RB as well … thats 2 draft picks needed … ya ur right great move !

  • steelster

    When Steeler fans cry does iron city beer come out? If so, I say bring on the crying

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’m sure they can find upgrades for Hood and Dwyer so not really concerned about them leaving but it would be nice to keep Hood. This is going into the 3rd day of FA so I’m sure there is a plan for some more signings.

  • Rubem Dornas

    Oh, no!

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I understand but they can’t think that way. The back position is so overrated.. Remember, the Steelers went Super Bowls with guys like Pegram and Redman.

  • Douglas Andrews

    He’s drinking the Ben R. Kool Aid. Ben said in an article here on the site “if it was up to him he’d bring everyone back. Like 8-8 means bring back the same team from last year and we’ll see if we can get different results. Really!

  • shawn

    u really are optimistic …I’m not so sure about upgrades over hood and Dwyer … they were both a lot better than most people give them credit for … i really dont see them getting much more in FA … and a draft pick is mixed bag at best … so i think they are messing with fire here … I hope Hood stays .. .we need stability … Cam & Keisel … really ?? lets hope not !

  • Brian Miller

    yep…and I still think there are some inexpensive, younger DT/DEs available in free agency we might be targeting…we got away with signing cutting and resigning him last year, but he performed well, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Not that worried about it though.

  • steelster

    I remember we got off to a 0-3 start without bell and to me that shows Dwyer is not the backup rb we need, lets try a different one.

  • Joey

    Woods is getting 2.5 million from the Titans… thats a little much if you ask me, seeing as his only significant time was last year and more in sub packages.

  • MC

    Damn, would of liked to see Dywer back. As a complimentary back i think he did well and i loved how he liked to lower his shoulder on db’s at the end of runs.

  • JAMESH

    At some point, Arians has to hire Todd Haley as his OC. Then we can consider the circle complete.

  • Tom

    Time to sign Beanie Wells.

  • T R

    it was a joke dont want johnson or sproiles i want some young rookies.

  • mlc43

    I’m sorry that you feel that way. I think that the Mitchell signing has the potential to be a legitimate steal if he plays near the level he played last year. We will have our S position figured out for years to come. Yes, losing Woods sucked a bit and our DL is thin but it’s only the second day of FA. Lets wait and see what else happens before we doom them.

  • steelster

    my pet turtle is faster than wells and more durable.

  • shawn

    its rich yes … but so is 5 mil for a guy with little proven ability … i think if they tried to lock him up earlier we could have a chance at him for 1.5 mil a year … that would have been worth it !

  • mlc43

    Wow…so much doom and gloom. We are certainly a spoiled fan base. Half way through last year everyone wanted to scrap the team and start over and now people are crying over the loss of a couple of reserves. The Woods loss is unfortunate but I looked up and guess what? The sky wasn’t falling.

  • shawn

    like i said i am waiting i agree its early but so far we are behind the 8 ball … will u feel the same way … if and when we lose Hood … (thats what people are saying) if that turns out the case .. we need not only CBs in the draft but DL as well ..

    Mitchell could turn into a good pick (not likely) but if he turns similar numbers from last yr no way is he a steal 5 mil a year is not a steal … now Verner for 6 mil a year … that was a VERY GOOD Signing and likely a steal !!!

  • mlc43

    Look, we are going to lose people and gain people. That’s modern day football. I totally disagree with you on the Mitchell deal. I guess I just like to see a finished product before forming opinions. I don’t feel we are behind the 8 ball because it’s only the 2nd day of free agency. That’s like panicking because you didn’t get a great first couple of steps in a marathon.

  • shawn

    SO FAR … Needs

    BEFORE FA – BIG WR/TE
    CB, FS
    RB/Change of Pace
    ILB/OLB

    NOW all of the above and add DL x 2, RB x 2

    how is that not worse ?

  • mlc43

    How did the DL and RB not make it into your “before FA” category? These things aren’t a big surprise. A person being an UFA isn’t part of the team…these guys were gone as soon as last year was up. I guess where we see things differently is that I’m not surprised by any of this and I had all those as needs to begin with. They’ll address each need and then we’ll be able to form a legit opinion.

  • shawn

    RB was fine (BELL ,DWYER, WJ) I did put change of pace back

    DL ( Woods, Mclendon, CAM, Hood) = no need

    I guess u were more insightful than i was … as i really mistakenly thought that Woods & Hood would have stayed on the team as i thought both could have been locked up fairly cheaply

    I guess u were right !

  • mlc43

    Bro, I wasn’t trying to be contentious. I just don’t assume anything when money is involved, lol. I figured them to bolt if the pastures were greener…so to speak.

  • steelster

    nice post mic43.

  • shawn

    understood … giving u props … i actually thought they would be on the team next year … I’m pretty surprised actually and bummed a little !

  • mlc43

    I hear you. I’m not too upset over Dwyer. I am, as you are, starting to become anxious about the DL situation.

  • steelster

    shawn, I’m a little bummed also but lets let things play out we are only 2 days into free agency and we have let several players go lets just see who their replacements are then we can make a better judgement.

  • shawn

    You are correct sir … but i’ve been around a while and see how they usually go about things so I’m not overly optimistic …

    If they had done just 1 thing … just 1 thing this off season and that was keeping the key pieces in place (including their young guys) and picked up a CB like Verner i would have been ecstatic … and that was easily doable … the mistakes i see … just my opinion

    1. overpaying for Worilds
    2. Not going after a better more proven CB,FS
    3. Letting young guys go that fit our system
    4. signing worn out guys like Will Allen and Warren

    these come to mind … there are prob others … i have to say i am just not optimistic especially when i see other teams do the things i want to see and what is needed to contend

  • shawn

    that is exactly how they have to think !

  • Jason

    So then you thought we should of gotten rid of Cowher after his 3 straight subpar season in 2000 right?

  • steelster

    shawn, I agree with you for the most part. I have a question for you? You say you have been around for awhile when was the last time you saw the steelers defense play as bad as it did last year? To me I have to think about that I’m not sure. The steelers may be completely reevaluating there approach on defense and how they want to make changes in schemes and are plugging in young players who fit that mold regard less of playing experience it sure looks that way. 8 starters with 2 years or less playing experience. Verner may not have fit the scheme they are looking at while Mitchell apparently does.

  • shawn

    I actually thought the Defense played pretty decent most of the time … yes there were a few bad games … i blame the Pats debacle on Lebeau … i dont know why he didnt stick with what worked the last time ( press, Cortez on Gronk, etc ) why did they change it …

    actually in the beginning of the season the defense was much better than the offense … take a look at the scores and u see they played decent for at least most of the games but u are right it is no where near the kind of defense we are used to … maybe mitchell will fit the scheme and turn into the next clark … i am just not confident yet that the team is headed in the right direction …

    my top 2 wishes Play Makers & Ball Hawks on Def & a Big TE to split out for the RZ

    I am with you on i can’t remember us being so bad at getting turnovers … last year we almost set a record for how many games without one !

  • steelster

    interesting that you mentioned press pass coverage. I think they will try and focus on drafting a guy like that fits that. Dennard is good at that which I would be ok with that I just don’t think he has a high ceiling. What would be ironic, is the titans drafting dennard. I mean the steelers pass on verner and the titans draft dennard the guy the steelers wanted.

  • CrazyTerry

    He was pretty decent last year. Steelers should have extended him early with fitness based incentives

  • Jazz

    LMFAO! That was a good one.

  • Jazz

    Dwyer had a horrible time keeping his weight down, his durability wasn’t that great as well. I do think they should have given him more carries, I think he could have contributed much better. Tomlin walks around like he has a Fork stuck up his rectum whenever those guys make one mistake. I would like to see how Dwyer does out in Pittsburgh West.

  • RyanW

    Yeah a guy who was constantly out of shape and had trouble holding onto the ball really consistently proved himself….

  • 20Stoney

    I’m not all that concerned about Dwyer, but I am concerned about the lack of depth in general. There wasn’t a lot going in and as we stand right now there’s less. Let’s see how they replace it.

  • joed32

    Not sure they’re too concerned about your grade, but it is premature. Lots of free agents sign with teams all the way through June. They still have some money to spend and ways to get more. Plus another chunk on June 1st. FA is far from over.

  • steeltown

    OK… so now RB is also a need, even if LSH is re-signed there’s no guarantee he’ll be 100%… guess we’ll definitely be drafting RB and not in Rd 7

  • Steelers12328882

    I said seemingly, not consistently, as in he proved himself as the most capable back behind Bell, yet he was pushed out of Pittsburgh for Redman. Dwyer had a way higher ceiling than him, and he was a better RB than him even when out of shape, and he proved that in 2012, the next off season and throughout 2013.

  • Bradys_Dad

    I’ll feel right at home someday when I retire to Arizona

  • Arthur Branch

    Running backs are out there that can play. No FA running back has broken the bank. Morena from Denver is out there and will be pretty cheap. He can pick up blitzes and run circles around Dywer.

  • Mike Popovich

    I know I’m in the minority, but I think with a full season of 16 games and 20+ carries in those games it’ll be fun to see what he can do. I hope he gets the opportunity to do it, because I don’t think Arizona really has a RB outside a guy who is 5’7″.

    I can easily see him out gaining Le’Veon Bell on the ground. Again, I know I’m in the minority.

  • shawn

    Ya that would be ironic … i could live with a Dennard pick, but i agree with you i just dont see much of a high ceiling with him.

  • shawn

    people keep saying that … we shall see where they end up …

  • cencalsteeler

    If you think the Steelers are going to make bold moves during free agency, your setting yourself up to be disappointed on a yearly basis. Steelers economics 101- build through the draft. As far as Woods, Dwyer, Hood and DJ, I rooted for them just like you and I wish them nothing but the best in their next endeavors. But, I agree with everything Douglas Andrews posted to you. These four guys were not exactly setting the world on fire. It’s March 13. Plenty of time to upgrade the positions between now and the start of the season. Relax, and have faith in your FO.

  • Farnsworth

    As opposed to every fan base in every city in every sport. Insightful.

  • MIchael

    I have to disagree with you Shawn….Mitchell was an under-rated S prospect, wanted by several teams, notably the Eagles. Re-signing Wallace & Allen were little-noted but important moves for depth. The extensions & reduced cap hits for Troy, Ike & Heath were solid plays….you cannot replace 20-25 players from your roster with totally new people w/o having SOME problems: half the team cannot be total strangers to your playbook on BOTH sides of the ball.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Typo I meant they can easily find upgrades for Woods and Dwyer.

  • shawn

    I know the Steelers MO … thinks for the tip … but this clearly was the year they were going to be more aggressive and they showed that by going after Mitchell the 1ST DAY … just so happens they overpaid for a guy that is middle of the road … they could have easily gone after Verner … they had enough gunpowder or picked up Carroll cheaper which would have helped us on par with Mitchell

    they seem to be making all the wrong moves … now they lost Hoods and Wood .. their DL is in shambles … I think Woods showed a lot of promise … his late play some how reminds me of Worilds 5 sack season when we passed on extending him which we can all agree now turned out to be a pretty dumb move !

  • shawn

    wouldnt be so sure about that .. they won’t be cheap

  • Douglas Andrews

    As long as it’s better talent it doesn’t matter to me that they have to spend some coins for upgrading the talent. Lets not forget this team was 8-8 the past 2 seasons.

  • Louis Goetz

    There was never a complaint lodged that Dwyer came to training camp out of shape. The complaint was that he came to OTAs over weight. Really?!? A guy has to be in shape for OTAs, which isn’t even football-in-shorts. He was much better than Redman in all categories; yet Tomlin loved Redman and treated Dwyer like a red-headed step child. I bet Tomlin hated having to finally cut Redman and bring Dwyer back. Dwyer wasn’t great, but he was a downhill runner who could get you the tough yards. Hell, he didn’t have a single carry for a loss in his first 50 carries. Best of luck to him.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    it would have been justified to do so.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    my bad

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Upgrade? I’d rather have 3 UDFA’s backing up up RB than Felix.

  • Tom

    Will your turtle play for Vet minimum?

  • cencalsteeler

    Agree completely! I think your comment might have been geared toward another poster. Cheers!!!!

  • gene mann

    lol good one figure all new it was ahmad

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Sorry, but I just wanted to squeeze it in with all these comments.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Everyone is down on Felix but if not mistaken he averaged over 4/ carry…not bad for a back up at a minimum wage. he isn’t great but….

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