The Pittsburgh Steelers released nine players on Saturday, including former Pitt defensive back Lafayette Pitts. The move brought the team closer to meeting the 53-man limit that will be imposed on all NFL teams on Tuesday afternoon, dropping the total number of players on the roster from 80 down to 71.
Pitts was a late addition to the Steelers’ preseason roster who joined the team after its 16-3 Hall of Fame Game win over the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 5. But Pitts made an instant impact in his Steelers debut against the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 12, intercepting an errant pass by Eagles quarterback and former Southern Miss star Nick Mullens and returning it 22 yards. The pick would end the Eagles’ final drive and help seal a 24-16 win.
However, Pitts did not post any stats in the Steelers’ 26-20 win over the Detroit Lions on Aug. 21, and he had just two tackles in the team’s 34-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Friday. As a result, he finished the preseason with one interception, two tackles and zero pass breakups, and it appears that was short of the impact needed to land a roster spot.
Pitts was released along with tight end Marcus Baugh, running back Tony Brooks-James, cornerback Shakur Brown, defensive lineman T.J. Carter, wide receiver Anthony Johnson, guard Malcolm Pridgeon, wide receiver Mathew Sexton and defensive back Lamont Wade. However, this may not be the end of the line for Pitts with his hometown team, as he could be signed to the Steelers practice squad as soon as this coming Wednesday.