The New York Giants claimed former Steelers cornerback Justin Layne off waivers. Layne was the only player cut by the Steelers on Tuesday who was released by the Steelers on Tuesday to be claimed. The Steelers didn’t claim anyone.
Layne, 25, was the Steelers’ third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he never developed into a starting cornerback and played predominantly on special teams.
Layne played in 10 games as a rookie in 2019 and played in all 16 games in 2021. However, Layne was surpassed on the depth chart by undrafted free agent James Pierre at the end of the 2020 season, and he never reclaimed his spot.
Layne played all 17 games in 2021 but played in just 2% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps. With Ahkello Witherspoon emerging and the addition of Levi Wallace, Layne found himself fifth on the team’s depth chart. Layne never made a start at cornerback during his three-year tenure with the Steelers, recording just 41 combined tackles, one fumble recovery and no passes defended.
The Giants’ starting cornerbacks are Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson, so Layne will be competing with Rodarius Williams, Darnay Holmes, and Cor’Dale Flott for the No. 3 or No. 4 spot.
Steelers have one fewer corner back on their 53-man roster than they carried throughout the 2021 season, when Layne was the No. 4 outside corner. James Pierre is the lone outside backup to Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon, though Cam Sutton can also play on the outside.
The Steelers will likely turn to undrafted rookie Chris Steele and/or Linden Stephens to fill their practice squad spots at cornerback.