Sunday, September 03, 2006
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Draft choices found it difficult making the Steelers' final roster, but it might not be a reflection on them as much as it is on the strength and depth of the defending Super Bowl champions.
Coach Bill Cowher waived four rookie draft picks over the past two days, including a fourth-rounder for the second consecutive year, throwing away more than half a million dollars in bonuses the Steelers gave those rookies to sign contracts.
Defensive end Orien Harris, their second pick in the fourth round and the 133rd overall in the April draft, was waived, the same fate that happened last year to receiver Fred Gibson, their fourth-round pick.
Harris cost the Steelers a $278,000 signing bonus. They also threw away $115,000 in a signing bonus on quarterback Omar Jacobs and another $104,000 on tight end Charles Davis -- both fifth-round picks who were waived.
Seventh-round pick Cedric Humes, a halfback, also was bounced from the roster Friday, a move that cost the team only $30,000 in a signing bonus. In total, the Steelers paid the four rookies they cut $527,000 in signing bonuses.
Any or all could join the practice squad today, depending on whether the Steelers want them on their eight-man unit and if they are not claimed off waivers by another NFL club and put on that team's 53-man roster.
In a bit of a surprise, the Steelers released veteran wide receiver Quincy Morgan, which leaves them with six wide receivers.