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For the record, Jerome Bettis is now an NFL free agent

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The Steelers released their second all-time leading rusher on Tuesday.

And it received scant little notice.

The player in question? Halfback Jerome Bettis, who last played in an NFL game more than eight years ago in Super Bowl XL.

The move? Just record keeping, it appears.

The Steelers quietly released Bettis, former center Jeff Hartings, former offensive tackle John Jackson and former cornerback Fernando Bryant off of the reserve / retired list yesterday, according to the NFL’s transactions. (A hat tip to Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus for first bringing this to our attention; Howard Balzer of The Sports Xchange also noticed this.)

None of the retirees have recently appeared in an NFL game. Bryant retired in 2009, with Hartings retiring in 2007 and Jackson stepping away in 2003.

And that’s not it for reserve moves for Pittsburgh. The club also released offensive tackle Rashad Butler off of the reserve / left squad list on Tuesday. Butler had a short stint with the team before leaving the squad last December for personal reasons, per multiple reports.

So what’s the story here? A source with knowledge of the club’s decision-making told PFT the Steelers were simply getting the reserve lists in good order.

And that’s why “Bettis, Jerome” showed up in the NFL’s transactions one more time Tuesday.

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23 Responses to “For the record, Jerome Bettis is now an NFL free agent”
  1. savocabol1 says: Sep 3, 2014 9:48 PM

    Over rated

  2. j0esixpack says: Sep 3, 2014 10:08 PM

    The Jets are definitely interested

  3. ponderrrrisnotaprobowler says: Sep 3, 2014 10:15 PM

    Bettis was always unbelievably overrated.

  4. dedmedic says: Sep 3, 2014 10:17 PM

    How is he eligible for the hall of fame if it just became official that the Steelers just released him, if you are on a roster in some capacity, doesn’t it make one ineligible for 5 years?

  5. steelpenbucs87 says: Sep 3, 2014 10:21 PM

    Well my fantasy team is screwed.

  6. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Sep 3, 2014 10:22 PM

    Weird. But also apropos, the only thing the Steelers have to hold onto is the past. I’m totally on board with that “we build boats. Lots of boats” dude, the Steelers should start their own league and name it the “Senior NFL”

  7. hrmlss says: Sep 3, 2014 10:38 PM

    Future Viking.

  8. bonnovi says: Sep 3, 2014 10:41 PM


  9. thetooloftools says: Sep 3, 2014 10:50 PM

    He’s a fun guy.. hate to see him go out like this.

  10. firethorn1001 says: Sep 3, 2014 11:11 PM

    Ted Thompson should screw with everyone and pick him up.

  11. billscastdotcom says: Sep 3, 2014 11:12 PM

    Belichick will sign him.

    Boston media: genius move.

  12. kipkiph says: Sep 3, 2014 11:24 PM

    That is neat.

  13. blue18hutthutt says: Sep 3, 2014 11:30 PM


    Belongs in the Hall of Very Good

    So does Curtis Martin for that matter

  14. lifelongbrownsfan says: Sep 3, 2014 11:54 PM

    This headline is misleading. Bettis filed his paperwork with the NFL declaring his retirement years ago, so — for the record — he cannot be a “free agent” unless he formally rescinds his retirement.

  15. realitycheckbaby says: Sep 4, 2014 12:17 AM

    Someone should pick him up. Maybe the NFL would award them a Superbowl.

  16. overweightman says: Sep 4, 2014 12:29 AM

    I’m sure the Raiders will try to bring him in for a workout. He meets the age requirement.

  17. Umbra Aeternus says: Sep 4, 2014 1:03 AM


  18. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 4, 2014 1:04 AM

    If he suited up today, he could beat out Rice and Pierce for the start in Bal.

  19. clashpoint says: Sep 4, 2014 2:18 AM

    Obligatory: I’m pretty sure the Cardinals might take a shot at Bettis, they could use the running back depth. Either the Cards or the Bills might try for Jackson. He was a pretty good tackle in his prime though.

  20. rhymeswithpunt says: Sep 4, 2014 2:39 AM

    Hell yeah, one more time for the glory BUS.

  21. jrbdmb says: Sep 4, 2014 4:40 AM

    If Bettis can swing a bat, the Phillies are interested.

  22. tinytoolalldrool says: Sep 4, 2014 5:30 AM

    Great player and an all round good guy. Too bad he played for a classless team.

  23. steelcurtainn says: Sep 4, 2014 12:29 PM

    JB could still run over the AFC norths soft run defenses. Its just too bad the Steelers have the B&B boys to do that now.

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