Steelers add OL Cody Wallace, release John Malecki
Wallace, who can play both guard and center across the offensive line, was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in their final cut downs to the 53-man roster on Saturday. He saw action in eight games for the Buccaneers during 2012 and played 15 snaps on the offense.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Wallace was originally entered the league with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him in the fourth-round of the 2008 NFL draft. He was released by the 49ers after appearing in one game through two seasons with the team. After that Wallace bounced around the league from one practice squad to another, spending time with the Detroit Lions, New York Jets and the Houston Texans over the following two seasons, before finding his way onto the Buccaneers’ active roster.
The fourth-year player Wallace has not started a single game during his entire NFL career.
Now, Wallace will return to a job in the shadows after the Steelers named him among the eight players signed to the team’s practice squad on Sunday.
“The eight players include offensive linemen Chris Hubbard and Joe Long, running back Alvester Alexander, defensive end Brian Arnfelt, linebackers Alan Baxter and Terence Garvin, defensive back Devin Smith and wide receiver Justin Brown,” the Steelers released in a statement.
To make roster room for Wallace, the Steelers released offensive lineman John Malecki. The Pittsburgh native Malecki was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tennessee Titans in 2010. Malecki also spent time on the practice squad with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Washington Redskins during his first two seasons in the NFL. However, he stuck to the Steelers’ active roster for six weeks last season and played in one game during that period.
Whether or not this move upgrades the Steelers up front on the offense remains to be determined. However, Malecki had recently shown during the season. He was making a case to be considered a game-day inactive after an impressive preseason. ProFootball Focus gave Malecki a 5.1 rating based on his preseason performance, while splitting time between center and guard spots. Malecki gave up one sack and two hurries over 101 snaps in pass protection, and racked up a 1.6 grade as a run blocker over 57 snaps.
Meanwhile, Wallace rated at -4.7 overall at snaps while playing guard and center. Wallace gave up two hurries through 90 snaps in pass protection, but also earned a run blocking grade of -6.4 in 85 snaps.