Steelers waive former Gators RB Chris Rainey

By Adam Silverstein
January 10, 2013

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


  1. Joe says:

    Expensive lesson.

  2. gatorboi352 says:

    1.7 million dollar bad decision smh

  3. Brett says:

    Sad day for someone who had overcome a lot of adversity in his life and actually had a productive year. Innocent or Guilty he put himself in this situation and has only himself to blame. I wonder if anyone will give him another chance! Hopefully he saved some of his money!

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    Sad day and hard lesson learned. Amazing that they will release him for this but turn the other way on Big Ben

    • Tractorr says:

      Amazed you say? Big Ben is a Super Bowl winning QB, Rainey is a utility player. Provided that he wasn’t incarcerated an NFL team would let anything slide for a Super Bowl winning QB still in his prime that is just the nature of the beast, and one of the reasons I scoff when anyone tries to say that the NFL is any less corrupt than college sports.

  5. Luke says:

    He could’ve bought a lot of new cell phones and girlfriends with the money he just blew. Instead, he’s blows his lid again and no one has his back this time. Too bad…

  6. Walt P says:

    Lesson yes. As for Big Ben he’s a Super Bowl winning QB. Wasn’t going let him go unless proven guilty after the trail after the season. Goodness Chris

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