Chris Rainey passes through waivers unclaimed

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Chris Rainey, the 2012 fifth-round draft pick who showed promise as a rookie with the Steelers but was sent packing after the latest in a long line of off-field issues, has passed through the NFL’s waiver wire unclaimed.

All 31 other teams could have picked up Rainey today after the Steelers put him on waivers Monday, but apparently no team wants anything to do with a guy who was known as a character risk heading into last year’s draft and was accused of slapping his girlfriend last month.

Now Rainey becomes an unrestricted free agent, and despite his off-field problems, his odds of getting some team to sign him to a minimum-salary contract and put him on a 90-man offseason roster are reasonably good: Rainey does have talent, and he was the Steelers’ primary kickoff returner last season while also getting some playing time at running back.

So Rainey may have a future in the NFL. But at the moment, his future is uncertain.