B.J. Finney, who gained some notoriety when he signed a free agent contract last summer (see video), was released on September 5th.
His release left some people to ask why he was released because they felt that he deserved a practice squad spot. Some others were confused as to why he was released when he had sustained an ankle injury in the final preseason game. Steelers fans, being no less immune to a good conspiracy theory than any other fanbase, had some among our ranks who were of the belief that perhaps the Steelers released Finney to avoid paying him an injury settlement or having to pay him while on Injured Reserve for the 2015 season.
I point all of this out only to preface the situation and then offer clarity on the rules.
Had the Steelers released Finney with any injury designation, he would have likely passed through waivers and then, by rule reverted back to the team’s Injured Reserve. The team could have then offered him an injury settlement within 5 days. However, being on the Steelers Injured Reserve at any point would have made Finney ineligible to be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in any capacity this season.
I believe they wanted Finney and were waiting for his injured ankle to get healthy enough to allow him to practice. I confess to knowing little about Barrett Jones, the man cut today to make room for Finney on the practice squad.
Jones was taken by the Rams in the 4th round of the 2013 draft, dressed for 11 games in two years and was released this September 5th. He underwent back surgery in August of 2014.