Long Island’s Elijah Riley claimed by Pittsburgh Steelers


Update: Former New York Jets safety and Long Island native Elijah Riley was claimed off of waivers Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Steelers, per Jets reporter Rich Cimini.

Riley, who started seven games for the Jets last season, was cut Tuesday morning as the team trimmed its roster to the 80-player minimum for the final week of the pre-season.

The Steelers were in need of help in the secondary after this year’s free agent signing safety Karl Joseph went down with a season-ending ankle injury.

Pittsburgh is familiar with Riley’s playmaking ability. He made this big play against the team during a pre-season game as an Eagle:

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Jets cut Elijah Riley; here are possible landing spots for the Long Islander

Top: Safety Elijah Riley (#33) standing next to fellow Long Islander and Jets teammate Jeremy Ruckert (#89) in the tunnel heading out to a game. (Credit: New York Jets/ Facebook)

Elijah Riley’s dream came true when he made it to the NFL.

It got even sweeter for the Selden native when the hometown New York Jets signed him last year for the final seven games of the season. During that time, he quickly earned the trust of head coach Robert Saleh and became a starting safety for the team.

Playing for the Jets is an “unbelievable experience,” Riley previously told Greater Long Island in a Zoom call this past offseason.

But Riley’s NFL journey may have to continue elsewhere. He was one of the five players to lose their jobs on Tuesday as the Jets made their second round of roster cuts this pre-season.  

Riley, who led Newfield High School to the Long Island Class II title in 2015 and earned the Carl A. Hansen Award, given to Suffolk’s top player, is the victim of a revamped Jets secondary featuring top draft pick Sauce Gardner and highly-touted free agent signings Jordan Whitehead and DJ Reed. 

So what’s next for Riley?

Well, according to NFL analytics website Sharp Football Analysis, there are plenty of teams who could use help in the secondary, including the crosstown Giants.

In fact, the Giants rank 31 out of 32 teams according to, ahead of only the Texans. 

New Giants general manager Joe Schoen created some holes when he released veteran cornerback James Bradberry and safety Logan Ryan this offseason. 

Schoen also chose not to re-sign former first-round safety Jabrill Peppers.

Other teams in need of secondary help include the Seahawks, Jaguars, Bears and Lions to name a few.

Last season, Riley had 45 combined tackles and one sack with the Jets.

He had three tackles in his final pre-season game Monday night against Atlanta. He also laid a big hit on back up quarterback Feleipe Franks Monday night. Watch below.

After attending West Point, Riley was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2020, playing in five games that year and one the following season, mostly on special teams.  

At Army, Riley was a team captain who totaled 201 tackles, 6.5 sacks, seven interception and three forced fumbles in four years.

Watch the full interview we did with Riley prior to the start of this season by tapping the link below.

prior reporting

Full story:

Greater Long Island’s Jamie Stuart caught up with Elijah Riley this past offseason.

Top: New York Jets safety Elijah Riley (33) walks off the field after an NFL pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)