Steelers Sign T Jake Rodgers To Practice Squad Again; Release WR Justin Thomas

The Pittsburgh Steelers started Week 12 off with a practice squad transaction and that roster move could perhaps give us a small hint as to what another move one might be on Tuesday.

The Steelers signed tackle Jake Rodgers back to their practice squad on Monday and released wide receiver Justin Thomas from the 10-man unit to make room for him.

The signing of Rodgers to the practice squad on Monday could be a sign that the team will will release an offensive lineman from their 53-man roster on Tuesday in order to make room for rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton to return from the team’s Reserve/Injured list as his 21-day practice clock is now ending.

If the Steelers indeed do release an offensive lineman to make room for Sutton, it would likely be either Matt Feiler or Jerald Hawkins, the team’s former fourth-round draft pick.

Feiler, a former undrafted free agent out of Bloomsburg College, has dressed for a few games this season while Hawkins has not. With that said, the Steelers still might view Hawkins as having the most upside of the two players.

Feiler, by the way, is out of practice squad eligibility and thus the signing of Rodgers on Monday could be a sign that he might be the odd man out.

  • Iulo

    we will see if you are right…. must say I didn’t see it coming that way…
    I was expecting a release of a Defensive Lineman (aka Shadetree) or another player on the ST (aka Moats). Many were saying Coty was the one but we already saw he is taking care while Haden is out.

  • srdan

    Hawkins-had hope for him, but he is out.

  • steelburg

    When Sensabaugh and not Gay started in place of Haden he became safe. But I figured Fort would be the next man up to be cut for a Sutton return. I think Hawkins maybe cut here I hope we are able to stash him on the PS safely. This is a little off topic, but I cant for the life of me understand why they won’t resign Demarcus Ayers to the PS. He showed a ton of promise as a rookie 7th round pick.

  • srdan

    he said no

  • Charles Mullins

    Most likely attitude. As much as I want him back he refused to sign to the PS and then went to the Patriots PS.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    But then the Patriots released him. I’ll have to double check but I dont think he is on a roster right now.

  • steelburg

    I know he said no initially. But he is currently a FA. I can’t imagine he saying no again especially since he doesn’t have an NFL job. I would think he would be better then bring Justin Thomas back.

  • steelburg

    He isn’t and that was my point. Why keep bring Thomas back when I’m sure that Ayers would sign now that he doesn’t have a job.

  • Charles Mullins

    I think he had a try out with Houston. I don’t think they picked him up though. I have been beating the AD drum, but if they don’t pick him up I will understand that it is for reasons. If they do grab him my guess is it would be in the offseason, but they may just cut ties with him. He did a power play and it failed. Much like Dre Archer. I could see the Steelers having a no second chance policy of some sorts. Fish in the sea and all that.

  • hoptown

    Strange because both Feiler and Hawkins would have practice squad eligibility left. I was hoping Justin Hunter would go. He offers nothing worth keeping.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Seeing a number of players leveraging teams around the league: Martellus Bennett being the most notable example. Not new, John Elway was successful years ago. Martavis Bryant had a go at it just weeks ago. Demarcus Ayers did not have enough leverage and he may be paying the price now.

  • Ace

    Lot of things happen that we don’t see. Maybe DA had a bad attitude when he was with the team. Maybe his practice habits weren’t up to standards. Maybe he has a lingering health issue the team saw and wants to stay away from. Maybe when he turned down their PS offer he was a punk about it. Whatever it is, it’s keeping him off of rosters to this day. He has 9-80-1td in his career out of a possible 28 games. He could never stay healthy with the PS. He was drafted as a ST’er first and WR second and he could not perform as either. Time to move along.

  • steelburg

    Your first 3 sentences don’t make much sense because when they originally cut him they offered him a PS spot. You don’t do that for a guy you think has a bad attitude, a health issue, or poor practice habits. But I think your on to something when you mentioned the way he turned down the PS offer. That is really the only logical thing that makes sense to me.

  • israelp

    They could activate Sutton and release a lineman to the practice squad without signing Rodgers. If they did it this way, it’s because Feiler – who in not practice squad eligible – is the odd man out.

  • Milton Farfara

    I believe that Feiler has no more PS eligibility and that’s why he was kept on the 53 coming out of camp. If that’s the case I can see either Hawkins getting stashed or big Dan being released to make room for Sutton. On that note I’ve been pretty keen on seeing Sutton’s development. Many people forget he was injured and that’s why he was a 3rd rounder. Looking at film of his last couple seasons shows me a very good prospect with a pretty high ceiling. I’m willing to bet he sees significant snaps by season’s end and is a full timer next year with the caveat he continues to develop at the same pace he did in college.

  • connfyoozed .

    Another small part of this may be that Rodgers had at least one workout with another team last week (I think it was Tampa but I may be remembering wrong), and could have had or was scheduling more workouts with other teams. The Steelers would not have the luxury of adding and dropping Rodgers as need be if someone else signs him to their PS.

  • connfyoozed .

    Feiler does not have any more PS eligibility; Hawkins does, but as a former 4th round pick it’s no guarantee that he makes it to their PS without being claimed (I would be very surprised if Hawkins would get claimed, but it’s possible).

  • Jaybird

    I feel they release Hawkins , he would have to clear waivers first. If another team signed him then he ain’t making it to our squad. Rogers could just be insurance till Hawkins. Clears waivers , then they cut Rogers .
    BUT watch ! The Steelers will probable keep Feiler and HAwkins and cut someone else! Lol

  • capehouse

    This is the 4th time these two have traded spots since September 20th so not sure I’d read anything into it as far as Sutton is concerned. I think the Steelers would be crazy to release Feiler at this point. They’ve already needed him once and he proved adequate so I’d imagine another team would scoop him right up. I’d cut Hawkins between the two, but then Feiler is definitely gone next year and you’d be out both of them. Cutting McCullers makes sense because they never use him, but if they lose a D lineman that move would definitely hurt the depth.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    I do have Demarcus ranked # 1184 on my all-time Steelers list.

  • Ace

    Correct me if I’m wrong but he spent the first 14 games of 2016 on the practice squad and/or injured. He only got called up in game 15 when DHB was just coming back and Coates was injured and they had no depth, then continued his play into game 16 with AB resting due to the upcoming playoffs. During that time, I would guess they got a pretty good idea of what he was capable of doing. They offered him a PS spot because he was serviceable and knew the system. They probably figured he had some kind of decent promise, maybe they could coach him up given time, maybe he could get healthy and learn how to field a punt, maybe offer him the PS deal, he turns it down, meh, no big deal. He’s still just a guy. He can catch a couple passes, but he’s another Eli Rogers. He can run out and sit in a zone and catch a 6 yard pass, then get tackled and fall. I’m not heartbroken over DA and I now think I’ve wasted waay too many key strokes on this guy. Sorry I got involved here. He will never be a meaningful contributor and I’m glad they are looking elsewhere.

  • Ace

    Out of how many guys? Can you throw a couple names out there for reference that are behind him?

  • Ace

    Nah I think he sticks around still.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Ace, you said it all and you said it well. The Browns and Bears are both desperate for receiver help. Neither team touched they guy. As you said, time to move on.

  • Balok’s Plight

    maybe Huey Richardson

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    That is out of 1,467. Just behind him are DB Grant Mason (2007) and RB Josh Harris (2014).

    I have a 6 way tie just ahead of him: the only one of them you may have heard of is LB Reggie Clark (1994).

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Huey is in a 10-way tie for # 1228 on my list so he us behind Demarcus Ayers.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Sammie Coates hurt his knee and ankle in the first quarter Sunday and did not return. If the Browns pick-up Ayers – then we will have circumstantial evidence that their analytics approach to personnel management includes subscribing to Steelers Depot.

  • John Pennington

    Let big Dan go he not doing anything no big loss and sign him to the practice squad.