Bengals Terminate Contract of Ex-Steelers Starting Safety

Sean Davis

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

Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Sean Davis hasn’t experienced much stability in the NFL, at least not outside of Pittsburgh. On Tuesday the Cincinnati Bengals terminated his contract, leaving the six-year veteran in search of a new NFL home. Again.

Davis’ release from the practice squad comes after he appeared in two games for the Bengals, including Cincinnati’s Week 3 game at Pittsburgh. Per Pro Football Reference, he played a total of 13 defensive snaps and nine special teams snaps in those two contests, without getting on the stat sheet.

Davis began the 2021 season with the Indianapolis Colts, who signed him to a one-year contract in April but released him during the last week in August. He went on to join the Colts’ practice squad and was elevated for Indy’s Week 1 contest, marking the first time he appeared in a regular-season game with a team other than the Steelers.

In fact, in 2020 he appeared in all 16 games for the Steelers, but only after he was released by Washington in early Sept. 2020, with whom he had signed a one-year, $5 million contract in March of that year.

Davis Was a Second-Round Pick of the Steelers in 2016

Sean Davis originally entered the NFL in 2016, when the Steelers selected him No. 58 overall out of Maryland. He played in 64 games for the Steelers (42 starts), during which time he had 259 total tackles, with five interceptions, 21 passes defensed, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Notably, Pittsburgh no longer employs anyone from its 2016 draft class. Of the team’s selections that year, nose tackle Javon Hargrave has had the most successful NFL career. Hargrave is currently in the midst of a three-year, $39 million contract he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2020.

Meanwhile, 2016 first-round pick Artie Burns is currently on the active roster of the Chicago Bears. The Bears originally signed Burns in March 2020 but he suffered a torn ACL early in training camp and spent all of last season on injured reserve. This year he is back in Chicago on another one-year deal. He has played in three games for the Bears this season but his role has been limited to special teams.

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Steelers Week 5 Practice Squad Protections

In other administrative moves of note, Pittsburgh has named the four practice squad players it is protecting this week.

• Defensive end Taco Charlton
• Offensive tackle Chaz Green
• Safety Karl Joseph
• Wide receiver Cody White

Both Charlton and Joseph are former first-round draft picks who were added to Pittsburgh’s practice squad early in the season, with Charlton getting signed on Sept. 21 and Joseph getting inked on Sept 1.

Meanwhile, ex-Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is a protected member of Baltimore’s practice squad this week. He made his Ravens debut on Sun. Oct. 3, rushing the ball four times for 11 yards against the Denver Broncos.

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