Penn Hills football alum among Steelers' first-round roster cuts
Andre Freeman, 23, got the call he'd been waiting for in May, when the Steelers contacted him on his birthday to invite him to the final day of their rookie mini-camp. It was his chance to fight for a spot on the final roster of the team he grew up supporting.
For now, however, that will have to wait.
Freeman was among the first-round cuts announced by the Steelers on Aug. 28. NFL teams must trim their rosters down to the 53-man limit by Friday and Freeman, a Penn Hills native and cornerback, was one of the players cut to get the roster down to 75.
Freeman said he received a phone call the night before, and on Aug. 28 was officially informed he'd been cut by Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.
While he was initially focused on the athletic side of things, Freeman said he understands that the NFL is a business.
“It doesn't really matter how much you think the coaches like you,” he said. “It's really about who they think is going to bring them more money.”
Freeman said he was told the Steelers might call him back at some point to place him on the practice squad.
“Basically, though, at this point, it's too late to make a 53-man roster unless someone gets hurt.
“That happens every day, though,” he said.
Freeman will be able to take away valuable in-game experience as well. Even though it was the preseason, he was on the field in three NFL games.
“The first game, I played the whole fourth quarter, but didn't do all that well. I missed a tackle,” he said. “The second game, I did better, but I only played for about 10 minutes.”
In the third preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, Freeman was only in for four plays, but was looking forward to the final warm-up against the Carolina Panthers.
“(In the third game), I broke up a pass, and I'm like, ‘All right, the fourth game is where the young guys play the most,' so I was looking forward to seeing what I could do in that fourth game. (Getting cut) was a surprise,” he said.
While it is certainly a letdown to be cut from his hometown team, Freeman said things are not all bad.
“I'm not really bummed about it. It's hard to make the Steelers,” he said. “The Steelers are the best team in the whole world. Last year, they were the No. 1 overall defense. … I'm just ready for the next opportunity.”
For now, Freeman can count himself among the nation's recent college-graduate job-seekers. But while most graduates are polishing up their resumes, Freeman is hoping to get another phone call.
“Right now it's more about the money,” he said. “I had a fantastic experience with the Steelers, but now it's about finding a job. It could be the Cowboys, some other team. I don't really want to play for the Ravens, but hey, if they call and want to pay me? I'll play.”
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Agent: Polamalu undecided whether to play in 2015
- Loose barges on the Mon highlight woes of winter’s end
- Police investigate fatal shooting in West Mifflin
- Starkey: In defense of Mel Kiper Jr.
- Penguins forwards struggle in loss to Avalanche
- 14 more arrested in connection with drug trafficking ring
- Angry fans cited in shortage of refs in Western Pennsylvania
- Springdale Twp. police car crashes into veterinary clinic
- Wolf’s Pa. budget plan seen as having almost no chance
- Mt. Lebanon deer-culling corrals sprayed with urine, repellent
- Pirates look to put more pressure on opposition with better baserunning