In a move that at first blush is a surprise but on closer review isn’t, the Steelers have released veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich.
It appears to be the time-honored 54-man roster trick, in which the roster is expanded but cutting a vested veteran who won’t exercise his prerogative to sign with a new team, and who then will re-sign with the team the following week.
The move allows the team to elevate an extra man from the practice squad temporarily, to fill a specific need.
After the trade deadline, the move entails some risk. At that point, all players must pass through waivers, including vested veterans.
Leftwich loses nothing in the process. He was paid for Week Two, and if (when) he’s re-signed, he’ll be paid for Week Three.