Steelers send message by cutting Rainey
January, 10, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
The Steelers sent the right message in waiving Chris Rainey and it goes beyond just parting ways with a running back who was arrested for a second time on a domestic violence incident.
Pittsburgh kicked Rainey off the team only hours after he was arrested for, according to witnesses, slapping a woman in the face with an open hand. Along with the swift decision, the Steelers made it clear why they were waiving Rainey.
“Chris Rainey’s actions this morning were extremely disappointing,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement released by the team. “Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers."
This is the Steelers' way of telling their current players and future ones that this type of behavior won't be tolerated, and even those who don't like the Steelers have to applaud the team for taking this type of hard stance. Pittsburgh also released nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu in November after his drunken driving arrest, but the Steelers did bring him back for the final game of the season (it was his first off-the-field incident).
It's valid to criticize the Steelers for drafting Rainey in the fifth round after an incident in 2010 when he was arrested for threatening his girlfriend. But, sadly in the NFL, you couldn't field a team these days if you didn't give second chances. The Steelers decided to take a chance on Rainey, and that mistake cost them a fifth-round pick.
Going forward, the Steelers need to either put a bigger emphasis on character or getting a better feel for players before bringing them to Pittsburgh. The arrests of two 2012 draft picks is an indication that something is wrong in the Steelers' pre-draft process.