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Jets Sign Speedy Ex-Steelers Running Back



Steelers RB Xazavian Valladay

The New York Jets are signing former Steelers running back Xazavian Valladay to their active roster, according to Mike Garafolo. The Steelers lost Valladay to the Jets when they signed him after Valladay was released during final cut-downs. Now, they have added two years to his contract, and he could be someone who ends up having a long-term future there.

Valladay was an athletic running back with speed and acceleration that no one other than Anthony McFarland had on the team. However, he came into the process late, only playing with the Steelers for two of their preseason games. The team signed Valladay after an injury to John Lovett prevented Lovett from sticking around on the Steelers roster. Over those two games, Valladay racked up 25 snaps, posting 12 carries for 30 yards over those two games.

A 6-foot, 200-pound Chicago native, Valladay signed with the Texans this spring after going undrafted out of Arizona State. In his one season with the Sun Devils, Valladay played in 10 games, rushing 215 times for 1,192 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns. He led the team with 1,481 all-purpose yards. Pittsburgh signed him after the Texans waived him.

Before his one season at ASU, Valladay was one of the best running backs in Wyoming history. He played four seasons with the Cowboys, racking up 3,281 yards and 19 touchdowns, leaving Laramie as the second-leading rusher in program history.

Valladay showed elite speed in the pre-draft process, running a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and posting a 40-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-3 broad jump. His overall Relative Athletic Score came in at a 9.46 out of 10.

When he first signed with the Texans, he was expected to be a player who could be an immediate contributor, drawing comparisons to former star UDFA running back Arian Foster.

Since that time, Valladay’s speed has been replaced by not only McFarland remaining on the practice squad, but Godwin Igwebuike coming in from Atlanta.