Steve Breaston was originally a fifth-round pick of the Cardinals. He went from return specialist to the third wide receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, before leaving for the Chiefs in 2011, signing a five-year, $23 million contract.
But Kansas City ain't Arizona, and Matt Cassel ain't Kurt Warner. In two seasons, Breaston started 17 games, caught 68 passes for 859 yards, including two touchdowns. On Tuesday, the Chiefs released him along with tight end Kevin Boss, who earned a Super Bowl ring with the Giants in 2007 and also played with the Raiders.
Breaston is most effective as a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver, and (like every other wideout in the league) plays better when he's on the field with a competent passer. PFT's Michael David Smith mentions a possible landing spot that makes a lot of sense for both parties: Pittsburgh.
The Steelers will almost certainly part ways with Mike Wallace, and there isn't much depth behind him. Antonio Brown signed a long-term deal last August, but fourth-year receiver Emmanuel Sanders will be a restricted free agent, and veteran Jerricho Cotchery is a role player at this point in his career.
Breaston, 29, is well-liked by Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who coached him in Kansas City. And while nobody thinks he'll replace Wallace as the guy who can run go-routes all day while defenses scramble, let's not pretend like Wallace wasn't awful last fall.
Breaston's best season was 2008, when he had 77 receptions for 1,006 yards and three touchdowns. According to Football Outsiders, that was good for 12th in total value among all wideouts. A lot of that has to do with Warner on the other end of those passes. But that also helps explain why Breaston was near the bottom of the rankings last season, and why we would expect him to improve if Ben Roethlisberger were throwing him passes in '13.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The Steelers are some $10 million or so over the salary cap so any conversations about free agency are premature. For now, here's what we know: Breaston shouldn't have any trouble catching on with a team. The future for Boss, who missed much of last season with a concussion, is less certain.