PITTSBURGH — Former Florida and Lakeland High running back Chris Rainey, charged with hitting his girlfriend in Gainesville on Thursday, will be waived by the Steelers, the team said.
Gainesville Police charged Rainey, 24, with misdemeanor simple battery after an altercation with his girlfriend. Police said the two were arguing over Rainey's cell phone. When his girlfriend got into a vehicle, Rainey tried to pull her out. Witnesses told detectives Rainey slapped her across the face, then chased her when she ran away with his phone in her purse.
The Steelers, who selected Rainey in the fifth round of the draft, announced their intention shortly after being made aware of his arrest. Per league rules, they must wait until after the Super Bowl to do so.
Rainey played primarily on special teams as a rookie. He averaged 26.5 yards on 39 kickoff returns, had 102 yards rushing and two scores, and caught 14 passes for 60 yards.
Rainey's agent didn't return a phone call for comment.
Rainey was arrested in 2010 while at Florida. He was charged with aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony, for allegedly sending an ex-girlfriend a threatening text message that read, in part, "Time to die." He agreed to a plea deal two weeks later.