Steelers Sign Safety Curtis Riley

By: Jonathan Clark


Throughout the past couple of days, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been in the NFL news by placing 2nd year cornerback Justin Layne and free agent signing Arrion Springs on the new Reserve/COVID-19 list leaving the Steelers depth in the secondary thin. Luckily, we still have Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden and Steven Nelson to give quarterbacks headaches, but as we all know from last year, depth is an important concept to grasp when trying to build a championship team. 


That being said, on Thursday July 30th, the Steelers signed former New York Giants safety Curtis Riley to compete for a spot in the secondary in hopes of adding depth for the upcoming 2020 season.

Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;
New York Giants cornerback Curtis Riley (35) intercepts a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) in the 4th quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


Riley was a CB prospect out of Fresno State University in the 2015 NFL Draft who went undrafted, but was not without a job too long after. He was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans where he spent the first two years in the league, only playing in a total of 11 games through the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, and racked up a combined 12 total tackles. Following these two seasons, Riley was released by Tennessee just to be picked up by the New York Giants shortly after.


Riley was thrown into the mix due to a season ending injury to star safety Landon Collins and did his best to replace a high caliber player such as Collins. He must have impressed the Giants in training camp/preseason, because he went from playing a total of 11 games in two full NFL seasons, to starting every game during the 2018 run with New York and he had a pretty decent season to back up his hard work. He combined for a total of 75 tackles, intercepted 4 passes for a total of 67 yards, and scored a touchdown on a pick 6 against Washington on a tipped pass from former QB Mark Sanchez. Riley did enough with the Giants to secure himself a roster spot in the NFL for the 2019 season and the opportunity came with the now known as the Las Vegas Raiders.


Unfortunately, Curtis Riley did not see the field as much as he would have liked during his time with the Raiders. The Raiders had just drafted 1st round pick Johnathan Abram to help boost up the secondary, which kind of left Riley left in the dust. He played in a total of 13 games, only starting in 3 of them. Had a combined total tackle count of 34 tackles with only one real highlight play being a forced fumble and just one solo pass defensed.


The signing of Riley was clearly to add depth to a position of need in 2020. With two guys already being out, the next man up mentality for this upcoming year has to be just as strong as the previous. Riley clearly has talent and proved that he can make significant plays in the NFL when given an opportunity. Who knows, he may have just found a home in Pittsburgh.


Do you think Curtis Riley has a spot on our 53-man roster? Let us know what you think! Comment below!


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