Steelers release Jonathan Dwyer

Updated: August 31, 2013, 11:27 PM ET
By Scott Brown | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- A late trade for Felix Jones led to the end of running back Jonathan Dwyer's tenure with the Steelers.

Dwyer, the Steelers' leading rusher in 2012 and in the preseason, was one of 23 players waived Saturday afternoon as the team reduced its roster to the league-mandated 53 before a 6 p.m. ET deadline.

Other moves of note included the Steelers activating starting tight end Heath Miller from the physically unable to perform list (PUP) and waiving former Pro Bowl punter Brian Moorman as well as nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012.

Miller, the Steelers' MVP in 2012, tore several knee ligaments, including his ACL, last December. Coach Mike Tomlin said last week that the ninth-year veteran is "doing great," and Miller is eligible to start practicing with the team. Had the Steelers kept Miller on the PUP list he couldn't have returned until after the sixth week of the season.

The Steelers had been expected to activate Miller from the PUP list when they finalized their 53-man roster.

The release of Dwyer comes as a bit of a surprise, though he became expendable when Jones played well after the Steelers acquired the former first-round pick from the Eagles.

Dwyer led the Steelers with 623 yards rushing last season and went over 100 yards in back-to-back games against the Bengals and Redskins. Dwyer, who led the Steelers in rushing in four preseason games with 131 yards on 34 carries, struggled to keep his weight down in three seasons with the Steelers. The former sixth-round pick also had some fumbling issues.

Jones looked rejuvenated while rushing for 56 yards on 14 carries last Thursday night at Carolina. That showing apparently convinced the Steelers to keep the sixth-year veteran over Dwyer.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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