Patriots Sign Ex-Steelers Starting Safety

Sean Davis

Justin Berl/Getty Images Sean Davis defends against the Seattle Seahawks on September 15, 2019.

On Wednesday October 13 the New England Patriots signed former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Sean Davis to their practice squad, this in the wake of a workout with the team a day earlier.

Davis is best-remembered by Patriots fans for having been taunted by former New England tight end Rob Gronkowski after Gronk caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady during a December 2017 game at Heinz Field. It was a score that put the Patriots ahead by three points with 56 seconds remaining, but the Pats held on to win 27-24 only after a Ben Roethlisberger to Jesse James touchdown pass was overruled on replay because “the receiver in the end zone did not survive the ground.”

New England is Sean Davis’ Third Team This Season

It remains to be seen whether Davis, 27, can help the Patriots—or any NFL team other than the Steelers. The six-year veteran has now spent time with five different clubs, but 64 of his 68 career games have come with the Steelers, including all 42 of his starts, as per Pro Football Reference.

The former second-round pick of the Steelers (2016) played in Pittsburgh for four seasons before signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the Washington Football Team in the spring of 2020. But he was released by Washington just prior to the start of the 2020 season, which allowed the Steelers to bring him back for one more year as a backup and special teamer.

During the most recent offseason Davis found a new NFL home in Indianapolis, signing a one-year contract with the Colts. But for the second consecutive year he failed to make his team’s 53-man roster. He did, however, land a spot on the Colts’ practice squad, and was elevated to the active roster for one game before the Colts terminated his contract.

Next he managed to catch on with Cincinnati and appeared in three games for the Bengals before they too, terminated his contract, rendering him an unrestricted free agent on October 5, 2021.

If Davis accumulates any more NFL playing time, he’ll have a chance to build on a résumé that includes 259 tackles, five interceptions, 21 passes defensed and 2.5 career sacks.

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Titans Sign Ex-Steelers Linebacker Avery Williamson

In a separate transaction involving a former Steelers defender, the Tennessee Titans signed inside linebacker Avery Williamson off of Denver’s practice squad. The move comes exactly a week after he joined the Broncos.

Williamson came to the Steelers on November 1, 2020, in a trade with the New York Jets, one that also involved the Jets sending Pittsburgh a 2022 seventh-round pick, while the Steelers parted with a 2022 fifth-rounder.

Williamson was a stopgap solution for Pittsburgh, appearing in eight regular-season games and making four starts, per Pro Football Reference. During that time he was responsible for 52 total tackles (37 solo), with one sack, two quarterback hits and three tackles for loss.

Now Williamson is returning to the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, No. 151 overall out of Kentucky.

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