QB among seven released by Steelers

Originally Published: September 3, 2004
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Before he even thinks about a possible contract offer from team No. 6 this offseason, Kurt Kittner ought to first consider a six-pack.

Or two.

The third-year quarterback was waived by a fifth team in seven months Friday, with the Pittsburgh Steelers this time handing him a pink slip. Kittner was one of seven released as the Steelers moved toward the mandatory 53-man roster all teams must reduce to by Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.

The league doesn't keep records on how many times players have been released in one offseason, but Kittner certainly must rank near the top of any such ignominious list.

Adding insult to injury, Kittner, signed by the Steelers on Aug. 14 after the club learned that veteran Charlie Batch would miss the entire season with a knee injury, didn't even log a single snap in four preseason outings with the team. The move leaves the Steelers set with Tommy Maddox as the starter and first-round pick Ben Roethlisberger and Brian St. Pierre as his backups.

"When you don't even get into a game, there really isn't much you can do, right?" said the much-traveled Kittner, who is beginning to amass quite a collection of NFL travel stickers. "When that happens, it's completely out of your hands."

Originally chosen by Atlanta in the fifth round of the 2002 draft, Kittner was released by the Falcons in late January. He was signed by Cincinnati in April and released a few weeks later. Ditto the New York Giants in May and the New England Patriots in July. It was as if Kittner, 24, had adopted the motto, "have arm, will travel," with particular emphasis on the travel part of the equation.

The former Illinois quarterback played in eight games, with four starts, for the Falcons in 2003, completing 44 of 114 passes for 391 yards, with two touchdown passes, six interceptions an a passer rating of 32.5.

In addition to Kittner, the Steelers released wide receivers Glenn Martinez and Huey Whittaker, center Jimond Pugh, defensive tackle Grant Bowman, cornerback Nashville Dyer and punter Mike Barr.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.