Decision day has come for the Steelers, as the team on Saturday released 23 players, and made somewhat of a surprising trade with the Falcons as they were able to obtain a former Pro Bowl special teams returner. That returner was Alan Rossum, who comes to the team for a 2008 conditional draft pick. He holds the Falcons record for career punt return yards (1,723), and career kickoff return yards (5,489). He also holds the Falcons record for punt return for touchdowns with two. Rossum was a third-round draft choice with the Eagles back in 1998. The team also announced the release of 23 players: WR Dallas Baker, TE Cody Boyd, OT Jason Capizzi, TE Jon Dekker, RB Verron Haynes, CB Chidi Iwuoma, CB Jovon Johnson, FB John Kuhn, S Mike Lorello, CB Anthony Madison, CB Grant Mason, DE Ryan McBean, DE Shaun Nua, C Chukky Okobi, DT Scott Paxson, C Marvin Philip, QB Bryan Randall, LB Ron Stanley, OG Cameron Stephenson, OT Brandon Torrey, WR Gerran Walker, LB Rian Wallace and WR Walter Young.
The position that many watched very closely was running back, as the team decided to keep fan favorite fullback Dan Kreider and release Haynes and Kuhn. It was Haynes that got a bulk of the carries in Thursday night’s preseason win over the Panthers. It was likely his showcase and maybe a deal where the team was looking to look for a trading partner for him, but found no takers and instead decided to simply release him. Baker was another player a lot thought might make the team out of Florida, but didn’t show enough in preseason to make the team at the wide out spot. The biggest overall cut as far as surprises might have been Okobi, who was penciled in as the starter at center after the retirement of Jeff Hastings. Instead, that position will go to Sean Mahan, the teams offseason pickup from Tampa Bay.
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