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Steelers technically can’t cut Rainey until after Super Bowl


On Thursday, running back Chris Rainey started the day as a member of the Steelers.  While he technically will still finish the day as a member of the Steelers, it’s only a matter of time before he isn’t.

The Steelers waived Rainey after he was arrested for allegedly slapping his girlfriend.  But there’s minor problem with the team’s intended transaction; rosters for franchises whose seasons have ended are locked until the day after the Super Bowl.

So, as the league office has confirmed to PFT, the Steelers can’t actually waive Rainey until next month.  Which means that he won’t be subject to waivers, and in turn not available to be claimed by a playoff team that would be interested in a kickoff return specialist and a young tailback with some pro potential.

Meanwhile, the decision to part ways with a fifth-round draft pick accused of misdemeanor battery brings back in to focus the double standard the Steelers often apply to players accused of off-field misconduct.  After all, fourth-round nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu  wasn’t cut after he was involved in a bizarre DUI incident that included resisting arrest and attempting escape and aggravated assault.  Instead, he was suspended two games, before later being released for roster purposes and then re-signed to the practice squad.  He is now a member of the official roster.

That’s not to pick on the Steelers.  It’s a reality of every sport, at every level.  Excuses are made for the stars; examples are made of the scrubs.

So the real takeaway from today’s development is that the Steelers regard Rainey as a scrub.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be planning to dump him.

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69 Responses to “Steelers technically can’t cut Rainey until after Super Bowl”
  1. ravenator says: Jan 10, 2013 7:53 PM

    I bey they end.up keeping him. Shameful. What a crumbling franchise

  2. draculalambert says: Jan 10, 2013 7:53 PM

    Sweet….trade the lad. (talk him up)

  3. thesmartest1 says: Jan 10, 2013 7:54 PM

    They probably thought the league would kinda not see it…

  4. pooflingingmonkey says: Jan 10, 2013 7:56 PM

    A lot of supposition in this “story”.

    Is it possible (as I read somewhere) that they had Rainey on a “one strike and you’re out” policy due to his many college misadventures?

    Maybe Ta’amu’s incident was his first, so they gave him a second chance.

    Frankly, I think it’s a classy move on the Steelers part. Men who beat women are the lowest of the low.

  5. dbama says: Jan 10, 2013 8:00 PM

    They were fair to Ben.

  6. stratus5ss says: Jan 10, 2013 8:01 PM

    I agree, if he is the starting quarterback he wouldn’t be getting cut.

  7. edithpiaf51 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:02 PM

    Anyone who hits a woman should be castrated. Get rid of him. He had no right to slap his girlfriend. Players should be role models, not demonstrators of domestic violence. All players should be as kind, gentle and sweet as the Giants’ QB Eli Manning. He is a role model. Kids look to sports players as heros and they should behave as such.

  8. stratus5ss says: Jan 10, 2013 8:03 PM

    If guilty, he deserves to be cut.

  9. gettingseattled says: Jan 10, 2013 8:06 PM

    Merely a formality, these rules saying who a team can and cannot cut when and where and how. Oh wait, you mean the rule is clearly laid out. I guess no one told the PR dept. up in title town.

    Alright, all jokes aside….um, slapping around your girlfriend over a phone bill, or whatever is any you slice it totally messed up and wrong on many, many levels. Did this guy not get the memo that he happens to be employed by most covered, most publicized business in America? Maybe the PR department in Pittsburgh forgot to pass it along……

  10. steelers88 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:07 PM

    Ta’mu’s D.U.I. This past year wasn’t his first run in with the law.

  11. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:08 PM

    The salary cap and cap penalties play into this as well. A rookie with low cap figures is far easier to cut then highly paid veterans. Not saying its right but it plays a factor.

  12. 6andcounting says: Jan 10, 2013 8:10 PM

    All the low information people out there, Big Ben has never been charged with assaulting, hitting or raping a woman, not once. Rainey was charged twice with assaulting a woman. Those are facts. Hate all you want but the constitution still matters, although low information people probably don’t even know what the constitution is…

  13. dkrauss93 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:13 PM

    this guy is explosive. I wouldn’t mind the Jets claiming him.

  14. darkglobe1 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:13 PM

    He should go play for the Ravens. They don’t care about the criminal history of their players, in fact, they celebrate them.

  15. grandmarnier0013 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:14 PM

    With the running back carousel there, I thought Rainey was in line to be a certain starter next year. I guess they’ll likely dump Mendenhall, and look to draft a RB early

  16. ehspioneers says: Jan 10, 2013 8:15 PM

    Sounds like a perfect fit for Cincy. They like the high character guys.

  17. mdac1012 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:16 PM

    Cutting a 5th round running back, that contributes little to the team and is easy to replace is not a hard thing to do. Cutting your franchise QB that is almost impossible to replace and would set the franchise back 5-8 years is a lot more difficult.

    Right or wrong, it’s the reality of sports and life. Not everyone is treated the same, the more important you are to your team and the harder you are to replace, the more chances you get. The same goes for any profession.

    Jimmy Johnson tells a story about how after he cut a back up special teams guy for falling asleep in a meeting, a reporter asked him if he would do the same to Troy Aikman. Johnson’s reply was if it were Aikman he would wake him up, fill him in on what he missed and get him a sandwich. Or something like that.

  18. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 10, 2013 8:17 PM

    Hey the ravens will take him it is a step down from murder..isn’t it raven fans? It’s less than dragging some one by a car after punching them in the throat…food for thought…

  19. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 10, 2013 8:17 PM

    So did PIT actually waive him such that they will get fined for an improper waiving, or did they just report false information on their website and there are rules against false reports that lead to fines I would hope.

    In this day and age with all kinds of reporters doing a sloppy job with imprecise reporting, there should be no tolerance for team websites that post blatantly false information.

  20. easyrider1903 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:18 PM

    This buys him some time to blame it on them corupt cops that booked him… he didnt do anything wrong

  21. etjla says: Jan 10, 2013 8:19 PM

    What you also leave out is that this his his second run in with the law in a month. Last month he was arrested for trespassing.

  22. rbrtcols says: Jan 10, 2013 8:20 PM

    Rainy= Slaps girlfriend= Get cut from steelers (eventually)

    Roethlisberger= Accused of sexual assault (twice)= Not cut or even considered to get cut both times

  23. joewilliesshnoz says: Jan 10, 2013 8:21 PM

    I can hear it now, collect call from the Oakland Raiders, will you accept the charges ?

  24. naes says: Jan 10, 2013 8:29 PM

    I don’t care for the Steelers. Yet I don’t see why people are hooting and hollering about a ‘double standard’.

    First off, a lot of teams wouldn’t have cut him.

    Second, not everyone is equal. These guys don’t all get the same pay, same playing time, same length of career or same stats.

    Guys that contribute, like Roethlisberger can rape a couple women and stay on the team. Guys that are a pain and get mixed up with drugs but can play like Santonio Holmes get kept around until they can be traded. Guys that haven’t done anything in the league and are a 5th round pick and beat women get cut.

    What’s hard to understand? Other than the Roethlisberger thing. But that’s more on the NFL. A real investigation should have been conducted (the town where it happened didn’t want to go broke prosecuting him) and if he did it he should have been banned. But if the Steelers cut Roethlisberger about 25 other teams would be lining up to bring him in.

  25. cliffordc05 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:40 PM

    I agree that there are two sets of rules for the stars and scrubs. However, in this case it is the second offense of a similar type for Rainey. Mr. Rainey has a problem with his eyesight; when he sees a girlfriend he thinks he is looking at a punching bag.

  26. woodreaux70119 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:41 PM

    meanwhile, murder flies in baltimore

  27. randallflagg52 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:48 PM

    This team just keeps getting older and slower by the minute.

  28. fsf7 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:50 PM

    rbrtcols says: Jan 10, 2013 8:20 PM

    Rainy= Slaps girlfriend= Get cut from steelers (eventually)

    Roethlisberger= Accused of sexual assault (twice)= Not cut or even considered to get cut both times

    How about this:
    Player A is arrested and charged.
    In 2010; Player B is accused, investigated and no charges of sexual assault and not cut.

    Player B could be Ben Roethlisberger, or it could have been Packers CB Brandon Underwood or it could have been Colts OT Eric Foster.

  29. raiderapologist says: Jan 10, 2013 8:52 PM

    6andcounting says: Jan 10, 2013 8:10 PM

    All the low information people out there, Big Ben has never been charged with assaulting, hitting or raping a woman, not once.
    I got suspended from my job for a few weeks because I have low information. But I didn’t get fired.

  30. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:54 PM

    Calling Rainey a scrub is too harsh. Unless he really slapped that hoe for real and then shame on that coward.

  31. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:55 PM

    And Big Ben.

  32. flaccodelic says: Jan 10, 2013 9:01 PM

    Gotta love it when a story about some scrub on the Steelers gets Ravens fans ragging on Roethlisberger which then gets Steelers fans ragging on Ray Lewis. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, venting our unrelated hatred through our team allegiances via the Internet. Carry on then.

  33. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 10, 2013 9:05 PM

    randallflagg52 | Jan 10, 2013, 8:48 PM EST
    This team just keeps getting older and slower by the minute.

    Great then we have a match with your comments.

  34. eaglesfan29 says: Jan 10, 2013 9:05 PM

    I guess it’s okay to rape women huh Big Ben, if you are black you are wrong and if you are white it’s okay

  35. scoobies05 says: Jan 10, 2013 9:07 PM

    hey woodrow….were you in atlanta hanging out with ray…didnt think so…so you have no idea what happened that night. were any of us hanging out with ben when these alleged incidents happened. didnt think so. so since we dont know what happened lets all just shut the hell up and go back to making fun of each others teams because we think the other guys suck.

  36. steeltowntowelies says: Jan 10, 2013 9:07 PM

    No excuses were made for Santonio…super bowl MVP…just saying…

  37. stillers35 says: Jan 10, 2013 9:12 PM

    Shocking that Ravenator was first to comment on a Steeler article. He must have an alert on to notify him on breaking Steeler news. You say it would be shameful for the Steelers to keep Rainey yet we all still get to watch Ray Ray’s ridiculous dance before and now after every game years after he was an accomplice to murder. Interesting

  38. rcali says: Jan 10, 2013 9:15 PM

    Sorry Jets, can’t have until February!

  39. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Jan 10, 2013 9:22 PM


  40. orivar says: Jan 10, 2013 9:23 PM

    I doubt Big Ben raped anybody to begin with, the places they accused him were shady clubs and the females themselves were shady.

    Who gets sexually assaulted and the first thing they run for is money? Seriously! The moment they said they were assaulted they had in their statements, “I want to get paid!”

  41. jredshoes says: Jan 10, 2013 9:32 PM

    What bigger example of the Steelers double standard is their quarterback?. If he wasn’t a rich NFL player that can “lawyer up” he’d probably be in jail

  42. firstand4ever says: Jan 10, 2013 9:32 PM

    Plan B. Suspend Rainey until after the superbowl.

    I love how perception becomes reality. I always hear pundits say how the Steelers are a “class organization” and yet their star QB has been accused of rape twice, their star defensive player, James Harrison is the most penalized player in the history of the league for dirty hits.

  43. Cereal says: Jan 10, 2013 9:34 PM

    Young men do stupid things,,,even this stupid. Its forgivable,,,hopefully he gets himself straightened out & learns from this. He has a good looking future if he learns from this…..

  44. stlrldyfn says: Jan 10, 2013 9:39 PM

    Loved reading all the comments made throughout the day pertaining to this story. Especially the ones from all the typical hypocrit Ravens fans. Funny how they call Steelers classless when a starter from their own team was charged with domestic violence. At least the Steeler organization will be letting this bum go. Ravens organization has chosen to keep their bum around. It’s a shame that some fans will never learn that people in glass houses should not throw stones.

  45. 4d9erdynasty says: Jan 10, 2013 9:46 PM

    Ben Ruthlessraper is dissapointed in Rainey.

  46. firegoodell says: Jan 10, 2013 9:51 PM

    Ravenator – get a life dude. As for ripping Rainey and the steelers….is it really that bad?? I mean its not like he is involved in a murder investigation…remind me again who that was?? Oh right that was your beloved Ray Ray…but that was okay?? right??

    As for the comments on Big Ben….just the reality of sports and life for the matter….if anyone doesn’t think RICH people get off much easier than poor people because they can afford better lawyers – get a clue – life and the judicial system is full of double standards – and Roethlisberger was never arrested as Rainey was…

  47. firegoodell says: Jan 10, 2013 9:52 PM

    And before anyone jumps in – I don’t condone what Rainey did – he certainly deserves a consequence as would anyone who slaps a woman.

  48. giantsfan82 says: Jan 10, 2013 9:58 PM

    Guilty until proven innocent.

  49. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 10, 2013 10:01 PM

    naes says:
    Jan 10, 2013 8:29 PM

    Guys that contribute, like Roethlisberger can rape a couple women and stay on the team.

    Prove it — from now on, all chums who make dumb statements like this will have to prove it.
    Prove he did it — don’t just spout off garbage.

    Oh and I love it — not just one, but TWO women!

    And now for reality.

    The D.A. threw out the first case because it was so unfounded, it couldn’t hold water. The lab evidence agreed. The second accusation was from a woman so nutty, she defied credibility. Not only that, but had sent out emails bragging about how she’d been with Ben. But let’s not let facts get in the way, right?

    Roethlisberger was never even charged with a traffic ticket. THAT’S why he remains on the Steelers, Einstein.

  50. bengalskuta82 says: Jan 10, 2013 10:15 PM

    @ehspioneers….Welcome back! Just to let you know..its 2013,NOT 2005..You sound like a ignorant bast*rd

  51. monkeyredandsmiley says: Jan 10, 2013 10:31 PM

    Ravens could use him. Replace a retiring murderer with a woman beater.

  52. unrulyondamic says: Jan 10, 2013 10:47 PM

    rbrtcols says:
    Jan 10, 2013 8:20 PM
    Rainy= Slaps girlfriend= Get cut from steelers (eventually)

    Roethlisberger= Accused of sexual assault (twice)= Not cut or even considered to get cut both times


    Guess 2 Super Bowls makes you indispensible? Rainey’s won…. Nothing

  53. canehouse says: Jan 10, 2013 10:55 PM

    Rainey is a bum of a man… What he did at UF was clearly who this punk is.

  54. theclaymaker52 says: Jan 10, 2013 11:15 PM

    So Roethlisberger can rape women and keep his job, but Rainey is gonna be gone. Makes not a damn bit of sense.

  55. ezwriter69 says: Jan 10, 2013 11:30 PM

    Snarky sneering cynical (typical) Florio comment aside, they told this kid when they signed him that his offense at UF was serious enough— and it was and then some— that ANY offense involving a woman would be an instant firing offense, and that’s what they did. Call me naive, but on this one, it wouldn’t have mattered if he was as talented as RGIII, he’d have been gone. His offense at UF was scary, no third chances stuff.

  56. drbob117 says: Jan 11, 2013 12:04 AM

    The lesson is that if you’re going to do something like that it’s important that you not suck. For instance, Big Ben , good QB, therefore,free pass. Rainey: Buh-bye!

  57. ravensman says: Jan 11, 2013 12:13 AM

    stlrldyfn says: Jan 10, 2013 9:39 PM

    Loved reading all the comments made throughout the day pertaining to this story. Especially the ones from all the typical hypocrit Ravens fans.

    I read the Steelers articles because I like to see what’s going on with our competition. I am not aware of any rule that prohibits me from doing so, or do I recall making any hypocritical comments. If you would be so kind as to point out any I have made, I will apologize to you on this message board.
    I will apologize now that the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs this year, and the fact that a small number of Steeler fans can find nothing else to do but express their hatred of the Ravens and their fans. The sad part of this whole deal is that a young man had a chance of a decent career, and for the time being has flushed it down the toilet by making a stupid move. I’m not sure what that has to do with Ray Lewis or Ben Roethlisberger, but judging from the number of comments, there’s obviously some connection in a few people’s minds.

  58. canjura says: Jan 11, 2013 1:19 AM

    As a man who completely disagrees with slapping a woman, I must admit, an athlete might be put in different situations. I mean, if he’s on a date with his girlfriend and she gets mad and starts hitting him and he hits back, he’s a bad guy. If it were a completely random person, people might look at it differently. I’m not sure what the situation was here, so I will have no input besides saying hitting women is bad, mmkay?

  59. mrmidevil says: Jan 11, 2013 1:26 AM

    Or…….perhaps its becoming a trend, as he is a repeat offender. And what about holmes? He wasnt a scrub…jeff reed, bam morris…..the only one they really cut a break to was their franchise qb. Moron!

  60. jeffa43 says: Jan 11, 2013 2:08 AM

    Cant cut players yet… This explains why Rashard is still on the team…

  61. mungman69 says: Jan 11, 2013 4:10 AM

    Who is running the show in Pittsburg? What a lousy team. They are going nowhere.

  62. fastwillie39 says: Jan 11, 2013 5:45 AM

    CEO of company doesn’t get fired for the same thing the janitor does, same situation here.

  63. papacrick says: Jan 11, 2013 7:36 AM

    It was only a slap not like he punched her. She could have been acting up for all we know

  64. stillers6 says: Jan 11, 2013 8:34 AM

    From reading a lot of these posts I doubt anyone will take the time to look at this situation with a ton logic or most of truth but I’ll provide a little of both that still feel like those 2 things matter. Not only did Rainey have a track record from Florida but he also hasn’t been a saint since coming to the Steelers. He got a citation for a suspended license in September and has had a $3,000 fine levied to him from a Pennsylvania casino for trespassing. The fine is because he issued a letter to all the area casinos basically not to allow him on the premises because I’m guessing he is at least smart enough to know he has a gambling problem. The bottom line is, the kid is not ready to be a pro and the Steelers have sufficient enough proof to know that at this time. I’m not going to defend Ben of what he was accused of, because what he was accused of is a heinous crime. But lets all remember that he wasn’t found guilty and that in the end all we know is that he was guilty of putting himself in awful situations, not committing a crime. For anyone to thing the Rooney’s didn’t seriously think of getting rid of Ben are mistaken because that did almost happen. In the end, they didn’t because they believed he made poor decisions but was innocent and they thought he would no longer cause them trouble off the field. Its been a small bit of time but all we know off the field from Ben since the alleged innocent is that he got married and had a son. Still a lot of time for him to be in the news but if he was a true knuckle head like Holmes or Rainey my guess is we would have already heard some additional rumblings.

  65. unionsblow1 says: Jan 11, 2013 8:38 AM

    who knows, maybe she needed a little tuneup…

  66. jaxisgreat says: Jan 11, 2013 9:17 AM

    Urban Meyer Recruit. Increase the size of the Columbus jail to meet future demand.

  67. vincentbojackson says: Jan 11, 2013 4:12 PM

    Yes, the Steelers only get rid of scrubs. Like Superbowl MVP Santonio Holmes for example.

  68. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 11, 2013 5:01 PM

    You make a valid point. Look at Big Ben and that mess he got into over an alleged rape in Georgia. They may suspend him but they are not cutting a star player.

  69. ravenatorsucks says: Jan 15, 2013 1:14 PM

    There is probably more to the story for Rainey then we are hearing. There was more than we heard for Santonio. We only hear about what the front offices can’t keep from the reporters. Players are being accused of things all the time, especially women, but we do not hear about it.

    As far as Ben being accussed of rape 2 times, he was never charged. The occurences were alleged. You may want to read the transcripts from the first case, she was a total nut.

    Lucky for some that the bloody shirt was never found.

    Suh was not cut nor would anyone cut him for his dumb mistakes.

    Many players were cut for problems that were much less than what some stars have done

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