There was some buzz around Steeler Nation earlier this year when the Steelers signed journeyman QB Troy Smith to a reserve contract. That short lived experiment though came to an abrupt half on Monday as the team announced that they released him. Smith signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Steelers on January 20, 2012. Prior to joining the Steelers, Smith spent time with the Omaha Nighthawks (2011) of the United Football League, the San Francisco 49ers (2010) and the Baltimore Ravens (2007-2009).
A five-year NFL veteran, Smith saw action in 20 games with eight career starts. Smith was originally drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round (174th overall) if the 2007 NFL Draft.
Steelers writer Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review also added this tweet: Troy Smith had a cannon for an arm, but unfortunately, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn and he showed that during OTAs and minicamp.
WIth question marks surrounding the status of both Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich at the time, I was thinking that perhaps Smith could make a name for himself. I had a vision of him turning into a “slash” type of player on the Steelers because of his ability to scramble and play QB. If he could do that then putting him out in a WR role here and there, just to keep things interesting might be an option.
With precious few roster spots though, it was just not going to happen.
Now the Steelers will role into training camp with 4 quarterbacks on the roster; Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and Jerrod Johnson. I wouldn’t look for the team to release Johnson before camp though, keeping an extra signal caller is a normal occurrence for most NFL teams. At this point I think most of us would be surprised if the same 3 guys don’t end up making the final roster, but if Johnson has a good camp he could be a practice squad prospect.