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Alualu signs new two-year deal

When the 2018 season ended, Tyson Alualu didn't want it to mark the end of his time in the black and gold.

Alualu, who originally signed with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent in 2017 from Jacksonville, knew he was set to become a free agent on March 13. And he didn't want to leave.

Today, he got his wish.

Alualu signed a new two-year contract that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season and allow him to avoid free agency.

"It feels great," said Alualu. "I am blessed to be able to come back and play for an organization that I love being around, from the top to the bottom. From management to my teammates. I am thankful to get something done and be with the group of guys that are chasing that trophy. I am just excited to get something done as soon as possible."

The veteran defensive end has played in 31 games with seven starts in his two seasons with the Steelers and recorded a career-high four sacks in 2017. He has 318 career tackles, including 37 for a loss, 21.5 sacks and 57 quarterback hits, seven passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

Alualu, who was drafted by the Jaguars in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, is already excited about the 2019 season with the talent the team has on defense and continuing the bond he has formed with his teammates.

"I don't know if I can say enough about the guys that we have," said Alualu. "The relationships that you build on and off the field. You get to know people on a personal level, see how they live every day, how they interact with each other, with myself. It is a testament to the organization and the family atmosphere they build there. I am just happy and excited to continue to be a part of that.

"We have so many great players. I am looking forward to us putting things together. It's still so early. Free agency hasn't even hit yet. Just excited to see the pieces added, the pieces we still have. I can't wait to get back and play ball and see what we can do this coming season.

"I think we will be motivated to take care of business on the field. The leaders, the core group of guys, do a great job of getting everyone prepared. That is exciting for the upcoming year."