The Pittsburgh Steelers have waived 2012 draft selection and former Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey.
Selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Rainey performed well in his rookie season with the Steelers but was released by the franchise on Thursday after being arrested for a domestic violence incident.
“Chris Rainey’s actions this morning were extremely disappointing,” team general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Rainey played in all 16 games for Pittsburgh in 2012, carrying the ball 26 times for 102 yards with five touchdowns as a running back. He also grabbed 14 receptions for 60 yards, returned 39 kickoffs for 1,035 yards (long: 68) and returned three punts for 16 yards. He had a stellar preseason for the team with two long offensive touchdowns and a pair of punt returns for touchdowns as well.
The team reportedly used Rainey’s previous transgression as a motivator during practice throughout his rookie season. Head coach Mike Tomlin supposedly used a version of his unfortunate “time to die” text message as part of that motivation. “OK, 22, time to die!” he apparently yelled during the first full-contact practice of his career. “I hear it every day, about five times a day,” Rainey said at the time. “It’s all good. I made a bad mistake in the past but I’ve moved on. It’s funny now.”
Rainey signed a four-year, $2.282 million contract with the Steelers and received a $181,000 signing bonus along with a $390,000 salary in 2012. He was set to earn $480,000 in 2013, $570,000 in 2014 and $660,000 in 2015.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he had another brush with the law just last month as he was “cited for defiant trespass, a summary offense, when he entered the Meadowlands Racetrack and Casino outside Washington, PA., after he had signed himself onto a self-exclusion list.” A self-exclusion list, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, exists as a safeguard that a person can request as a measure to ban oneself from such facilities under penalty of a fine.
Rainey was one of four former Gators on the team. The three former Florida players remaining on Pittsburgh’s roster include center Maurkice Pouncey, left tackle Max Starks and right tackle Marcus Gilbert.
OGGOA RELATED: Former Florida RB Rainey arrested for battery
Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Steelers