Ex-Steelers QB Signs With Chiefs; Justin Layne Claimed by Giants

Justin Layne Steelers

Joe Sargent/Getty Images Justin Layne of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a tackle on Kalil Pimpleton of the Detroit Lions on August 28, 2022.

On Tuesday former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Chris Oladokun visited with the Kansas City Chiefs. Apparently that visit went well, because on Wednesday Oladokun signed to Kansas City’s practice squad, giving him the opportunity to join a QB room headlined by former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The Steelers selected Oladokun in the seventh-round of the 2022 NFL Draft (No. 241 overall) out of South Dakota State, but waived him as part of the roster cutdown to 80 players on August 23. In the intervening months, he had little opportunity to work in a team setting, as virtually all of the quarterback reps went to free agent acquisition Mitch Trubisky, veteran backup Mason Rudolph, and 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett.

Oladokun never appeared in a preseason game, either, which is why he has frequently been referred to as a “wasted draft pick.”

CB Justin Layne Claimed by the Giants

Brooke Pryor of ESPN figured that Steelers cornerback Justin Layne was going to get released on Tuesday August 30 when she saw him walking out of the Steelers locker room carrying a trash bag.

That’s exactly what transpired, as the fourth-year cornerback and former third-round pick (2019) was one of five players waived in Pittsburgh’s second batch of roster cuts.

Layne’s release was anything but a surprise. Though he appeared in 43 regular-season games during his first three years in the league, he hardly ever played on defense — a mere 145 defensive snaps total.

But the Michigan State product has landed on his feet, as he was claimed by the New York Giants. In fact, he was the only Steelers player to get claimed, standing in sharp contrast to, say, the New York Jets, who had seven players claimed.

8 Former Steelers Were Signed to Practice Squads

Meanwhile, at least eight ex-Steelers who were waived on Tuesday signed to practice squads on Wednesday, as per the NFL’s daily personnel notice. In no particular order:

Offensive lineman Rashaad Coward and defensive lineman Antwaun Woods signed with the Arizona Cardinals; linebacker Tegray Scales is back for another stint with the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals; and defensive end T.J. Carter has caught on with the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams.

In addition, former Cowboys first-round pick Taco Charlton has re-joined the New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Deon Cain will attempt to further his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Last but not least, former Steelers sixth-round pick Quincy Roche will start the season on the Giants practice squad and outside linebacker Genard Avery will do the same for the Buccaneers.

A week or so ago, Avery probably felt he was assured of a place on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster, as he was the top backup outside linebacker behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. But he was a “surprise” cut on August 23.

The Steelers had a chance to claim Roche when the New York Giants waived him on Monday. Yet Pittsburgh elected not to do so. The Steelers waived the former Miami Hurricanes outside linebacker during the team’s final round of cuts last season and he was subsequently claimed by the Giants.

He went on to appear in 14 games for New York last season and recorded 38 tackles, including five tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks.