Catching you up on all of the Steelers free agency news this offseason.
Tuesday, April 4
Added to the fold: The Steelers signed free agent defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko to a one-year contract.
Fehoko has spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers after signing with them as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft.
He finished the 2022 season with 23 tackles, 10 of them solo stops, with one tackle for a loss in nine games, including one start, after spending time early in the year on the practice squad. He added three tackles in the AFC Wild Card game against Jacksonville.
He started the 2021 season on the practice squad but was signed to the active roster from the practice squad multiple times during the season. He played in eight games, starting one, and had 13 tackles, five of them solo stops.
He spent most of the 2020 season on the Chargers practice squad, but was activated for two games.
Fehoko, who is from Hawaii, played college football at Louisiana State.
Steelers signed NT Breiden Fehoko on a one-year contract
New addition: The Steelers signed safety Keanu Neal to a two-year contract.
Neal spent the 2022 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing in all 17 games, with eight starts. He finished the season with 61 tackles, 40 of them solo stops, two tackles for a loss, four passes defensed, one interception and half a sack.
Neal played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, starting five of the 14 games he played in. He finished that season with 70 tackles, 42 of them solo stops, and added one sack.
He was originally selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the 17th overall pick. He spent his first five seasons with the Falcons, where he played in 49 games, starting all of them.
His rookie season he recorded 105 tackles, 72 solo, while starting 14 games. He started all 16 games in 2017, finishing with a career high 113 tackles, 81 solo, and an interception, while earning his first Pro Bowl selection.
Neal missed the 2018 season after tearing his ACL during the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. His 2019 season was also marred by injuries, playing in only three games before finishing the season on the Reserve/Injured List.
He bounced back in 2019, starting 15 games and recording 98 tackles, 74 of them solo stops, nine tackles for a loss, one interception, one sack and one fumble recovery.
Steelers signed S Keanu Neal on a two-year contract
Making a return: The Steelers signed safety Damontae Kazee to two-year contract, keeping him in Pittsburgh.
Kazee, who is entering his seventh season, originally signed a one-year contract with the Steelers in May of 2022.
Kazee has played in 78 career games, with 53 starts, in his first six seasons. He has 257 career tackles, 172 of them solo stops, 14 interceptions, 19 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and three tackles for a loss.
Kazee played in nine games, starting four, in 2022, after starting the season on the Reserve/Injured List. He finished with 19 tackles, 11 of them solo stops, two interceptions and two passes defensed.
Kazee brings energy and passion to the Steelers defense, something that rubs off on his teammates.
"You love when a guy is out there playing with so much passion," said cornerback Levi Wallace. "It brings so much energy and good spirit to the team, especially the defensive back room. When you have a guy who can instantly come in and make plays like that, you want to play for someone like that. He is just a great dude. I am how I am. He is completely different. Always talking. You can hear him now. It's fun to have someone like that."
Kazee said during the season that is just who he is.
"I have been that type of guy my entire life," said Kazee. "Even in college, when we had to wake up at 5 in the morning, I would be out there on the field talking. That has always been me. It's always been in my blood.
"I like to talk to my teammates. Get them hype. Put some juice in them. I am like that all of the time. Games, practice, whatever. Practice is like a game to me. You have to put it on film at the end of the day, so you have to be that way always."
The fact that it picks his teammates up, gives them energy, is something that excites Kazee even more.
"When one person sees it, it makes others want to do it," said Kazee. "It brings everyone together. That is why I do it. People teach in different ways. Leaders lead by doing different stuff. Me, I am just bringing energy. That is my point. My point is to bring energy as a leader so that is what I do."
Kazee came to the Steelers last year after spending the 2021 season with the Dallas Cowboys. He finished that season with 51 tackles, 34 of them solo stops, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and four passes defensed.
He spent his first four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (2017-20), who drafted him in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He played in 52 games for the Falcons, starting 34.
Kazee played college football at San Diego State where he started his final 41 games at cornerback. He left there as the school's all-time interception leader with 17 and was a two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Take a look at photographs of Steelers S Damontae Kazee from the 2022 season
Staying put: The Steelers signed tight end Zach Gentry to a one-year contract. Gentry was an unrestricted free agent.
Gentry was drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Michigan.
In four seasons he has played in 40 games, starting 26. He has 39 career receptions for 303 yards.
In 2022 Gentry started 13 of the 17 games he played, used significantly as a blocking tight end.
"Zach has really had to have the attitude and appetite to mix it up the likes of those guys inside, blocking T.J. (Watt) in practice," said Steelers tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts in an article during the season on steelers.com. "(Former Steelers tight ends coach) James Daniel had that job, making the transition of being a tight end that thinks 'I want to be more in the passing game,' to being a blocker. So, some of the transitional part, I give that to James Daniel.
"When I was able to get in and he wants to be coached, let's talk the technical things, because he hadn't done it all his life. He was a quarterback. He sees things really well, so that makes it easy for him. He conceptualizes, so he can imagine how to do it. Now, it's just getting his body to do it."
Gentry came to the Steelers as a converted college quarterback. He had 49 receptions for 817 yards and four touchdowns combined in 2017 and 2018 after making the transition from quarterback to tight end.
Gentry started 24 of the 33 games he played at Michigan and finished with 49 catches for 817 yards and four touchdowns. His final season he earned All-Big Ten third-team and All-Big Ten honorable mention honors. He started 13 games that season, catching 32 passes for 514 yards and two touchdowns.
Take a look at photographs of Steelers TE Zach Gentry from the 2022 season
Friday, March 24
Edmunds heads East: The Eagles signed safety Terrell Edmunds, the Steelers former No. 1 draft pick. Edmunds, who was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has started 75 of the 79 games he has played in. He has 405 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, five interceptions and five sacks.
In 2022 he had 70 tackles, including 41 solo stops, five passes defensed, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and two quarterback hurries in 15 games, all which he started. In 2021 he started all 17 games, finishing with 89 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, six passes defended, a sack, quarterback hurry and two interceptions.
Sims heads South: The Houston Texans signed former Steelers receiver Steven Sims. Sims first joined the Steelers in 2021 when he was signed to the practice squad at the start of the season. He played in one game that season, elevated to the Active/Inactive Roster for the game against the Detroit Lions. He didn't have any catches in that game. Sims saw the most action of his career in 2022, playing in 12 games and starting two. He had 14 receptions for 104 yards, a 7.4-yard average. He also added 13 carries for 70 yards, a 5.4-yard average. Sims was inactive for the first four games of the 2022 season, but found himself getting a game day hat after that and taking over the kickoff and punt return duties. He finished the season returning 17 punts for 434 yards, a 25.5-yard average that included an 89-yard return, and 19 punt returns for 105 yards, a 5.5-yard average.
Thursday, March 23
Headed to DC: The Washington Commanders signed former Steelers offensive lineman Trent Scott, who was an unrestricted free agent. Scott originally signed with the Steelers in May of 2022. Scott played in eight games last season, starting one as an extra offensive lineman. Scott has played in 61 games with 20 starts in five seasons. He spent two years with the Los Angeles Chargers, 2018-19, and two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, 2020-21.
Tuesday, March 21
On guard: The Steelers signed free agent guard Isaac Seumalo to a three-year contract.
Seumalo spent the last seven seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles after they drafted him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Oregon State.
Seumalo has played in 81 games, with 60 starts. Seumalo provides flexibility, starting all 17 regular season games in 2022 at right guard, after spending most of his career at left guard. He also has played in nine postseason games, including Super Bowl LII and LVII.
In 2022 the Eagles were ranked fifth in rushing in the NFL, with Seumalo a force on the line. The Eagles offense also scored a franchise-record 57 touchdowns from scrimmage and 477 points last season and set team records for third-down conversion rate (45.9%) and red zone touchdown efficiency (67.85). The Eagles also had 32 rushing touchdowns in 2022, third most in NFL history.
He missed time in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, playing in just a combined 12 games, starting all 12, while dealing with injuries. In 2019 he started all 16 games.
While at Oregon State he played in 37 games, starting at four different positions – right guard, center, and left and right tackle. He was a second-team All-Pac-12 selections in 2013.
Seumalo's father, Joe, played in the Canadian Football League and NFL Europe from 1989-95 and his sister, Jessi, is the player personnel coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
Related News: How Seumalo fits
Steelers signed OG Isaac Seumalo on a three-year contract
Staying put: The Steelers signed cornerback James Pierre to a one-year contract.
Pierre was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft out of Florida Atlantic. He has played in 50 career games, with six starts in three seasons. He has 58 career tackles, including 51 solo stops, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. He also has 28 special teams tackles.
Pierre played in 17 games in 2022, starting two of them. He finished the year with 20 tackles, including 16 solo stops, has four passes defensed and an interception against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12.
In 2021, Pierre played in 17 games with four starts. He recorded 37 tackles, 34 of them solo stops, and have one interception.
He made the initial 53-man roster his rookie season and played in all 16 games, finishing with 10 tackles including special teams and seven solo stops. He also had two tackles in the AFC Wild Card game against the Cleveland Browns.
During his time at Florida Atlantic, Pierre played in 39 games with 120 tackles, including 80 solo stops, eight and a half tackles for a loss and three interceptions.
Monday, March 20
Headed South: Linebacker Malik Reed signed with the Miami Dolphins. Reed was an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers acquired Reed via a trade with the Denver Broncos at the start of the 2022 season. Reed played in 14 games in 2022 for the Steelers, starting two of them. He finished the season with 25 tackles, one sack, two passes defensed and four quarterback hurries, but was inactive for the final two games of the year.
Friday, March 17
Adding more help at LB: The Steelers signed linebacker Elandon Roberts to a two-year contract.
"I have been wanting to play for the Steelers since way back," said Roberts. "When I got the phone call and was able to get everything ironed out, it was a no-brainer. I wanted to make it work no matter what.
"It's about the foundation that was laid way before my time. It's the culture. What it means to play for the Steelers. What better organization to play for. I am here to hold that standard high within myself. I am excited to be here. I am excited to play for the Steelers. I am ready to hit the ground running so I earn the trust of this organization."
Roberts said he is happy to be in the black and gold and play for Coach Mike Tomlin.
"I'm real excited," said Roberts. "I hear tons of great things about Coach across the league. Tons of great things about him here in the building. It's a great opportunity to work with him and the entire coaching staff."
Roberts, a seven-year veteran, spent the last three seasons with the Miami Dolphins after spending the first four years of his career with the New England Patriots. He was a defensive captain for both teams, voted to that honor four straight years.
Roberts started all 17 games for the Dolphins in 2022 and led the team in tackles with 104, which included 65 solo tackles. He had four and a half sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and six quarterback hits.
In 2021 he started 15 of 17 games, recording 83 tackles, a sack and an interception and two forced fumbles.
Roberts has played in 107 career games, starting 76, and has recorded 37 tackles for a loss, 23 quarterback hits, 11 sacks, 10 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. He has 449 career tackles, 257 of them solo stops.
Roberts was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of the University of Houston. He played in 60 games, starting 33, with the Patriots and played on Super Bowl teams, Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII.
Steelers signed LB Elandon Roberts on a two-year contract
Keeping their own: The Steelers signed defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi to a three-year contract, keeping him in the black and gold.
"It's definitely a good place to be," said Ogunjobi. "A good environment. Good city, good energy."
Ogunjobi originally signed with the Steelers last June after spending his first four seasons with the Cleveland Browns and the 2021 season with the Cincinnati Bengals.
He started 16 games in 2022 for the Steelers, finishing the year with 48 tackles, 25 of them solo stops, 11 quarterback hits, seven tackles for a loss and one and a half sacks.
He also dealt with a variety of injuries throughout the season but played through it all.
"Sometimes you just have to be resilient and trust your process," said Ogunjobi. "There's obviously ups and downs. Seasons can play out a whole bunch of different ways. You take it one day at a time, stay focused, trust your process and just find ways to get better each and every day. For me personally, I continue to trust my process to find ways to get better. Regardless of the ups and downs of the season, when you're resilient and trust your own process, things find a way of working out."
For Ogunjobi, football is something that has worked out. His parents moved to the United States from Nigeria in 1993, a year before he was born. He started playing football in high school and over time developed a love for the game that he is passionate about now.
"I enjoy the sport," said Ogunjobi. "I should say, I love the sport. I love everything about it. Football has opened so many doors for me, allowed me to do so many things, helped so many people. I owe this game a lot, so I don't take it for granted."
In his six seasons he played in 92 games, with 79 starts. He has 277 career tackles, 162 of them solo, 64 quarterback hits, 23 sacks, 48 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and one pass defensed.
Ogunjobi was originally drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Bush heads West: Linebacker Devin Bush, who was an unrestricted free agent, signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Bush is the Steelers former No. 1 pick, selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Thursday, March 16
The Steelers were busy on Thursday, adding three free agents, including cornerback Patrick Peterson, guard Nate Herbig and linebacker Cole Holcomb. There were also other moves related to the team, with everything you need to know below.
Secondary gets a boost with Peterson: The Steelers signed All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson to a two-year contract. Peterson was an unrestricted free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
"My plan is to take my talents to the Steel Curtain," said Peterson on the All Things Covered podcast he does with his cousin and former Steelers cornerback, Bryant McFadden. "I grew up watching all the greats there. Obviously love Coach (Mike) Tomlin and what he brings to the table. And just how consistent he is. How consistent the defense is. How consistent his team is year in and year out. They're always in position to win ball games.
"Always been a big fan of how Mike T teams were always prepared to play a football game."
Peterson, who will be entering his 13th season in the NFL, is a three-time Associated Press First-Team All-Pro selection, making it in 2011 as a punt returner, and 2013 and 2015 as a corner.
He said the player the Steelers are getting for the 2023 season is the same player who had five interceptions in 2022, plus a little extra.
"Same exact player they saw last year and more," said Peterson. "I'm in the lab working on all the miscues I felt I had last year that is going to help me this year."
Peterson has 34 career interceptions, tied with Harrison Smith for the most interceptions of any active NFL player. He had five interceptions in 2022, the second-most of his career. In 2012 he recorded a career-high seven interceptions.
Peterson signed with the Vikings in 2021 after spending his first 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
With the Vikings he played in 30 games, starting all of them. He finished the 2022 season with 66 tackles, 56 of them solo stops, five interceptions, 15 passes defensed and three tackles of a loss.
In his first season in Minnesota in 2021, Peterson played in 13 games and recorded 45 tackles, 34 of them solo stops, five passes defensed, two tackles for a loss and one interception, which he returned 66 yards for a touchdown.
Steelers signed CB Patrick Peterson on a two-year contract
For his career, Peterson has played in 184 games, impressively starting all 184 of them. He has 34 career inceptions, including two returned for a touchdown. He has 610 tackles, 537 of them solo stops, 111 passes defensed, which is ranked third-most in the NFL among active players, and 15 tackles for a loss.
Peterson was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the fifth pick overall. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in each of his first eight seasons, the first year as a returner (2011) and the next seven years at cornerback (2012-18). He was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-member selection committee.
Peterson was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week three times in his career including against Cleveland (12/15/19), St. Louis (11/19/14) and Tampa Bay (9/29/13). He was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice and Special Teams Player of the Month once (Nov. 2011). He was also voted a team captain five times with the Cardinals.
In his 10 seasons in Arizona, he started all 154 of the games he played in. He finished his career with the Cardinals with 499 tackles, 447 of them solo stops, 28 interceptions, including one for a touchdown, 91 passes defensed, and 10 tackles for a loss.
Peterson played college football at LSU, where he later donated $1 million to their weight room, which is named after him. In addition to being related to Bryant McFadden, his brother Avery Johnson was a wide receiver at the University of Cincinnati and his other cousins, Walter McFadden, Santana Moss and Sinorice Moss all played in the NFL.
Peterson picks his number: Patrick Peterson will wear No. 20, the same number worn by his cousin, former Steelers defensive back Bryant McFadden.
Steelers add to offensive line: The Steelers signed free agent guard Nate Herbig to a two-year contract.
Herbig started 28 of the 44 games he has played in over four seasons, one with the New York Jets and three with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Herbig spent the 2022 season with the Jets, where he started 11 games at right guard.
Herbig, 6-4, 334 pounds, was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent his first three seasons with the Eagles, playing in two games his rookie season.
Steelers signed G Nate Herbig on a two-year contract
Herbig played both right and left guard for the Eagles, playing in 31 games, with 17 starts, in 2020 and 2021 combined, and two games his rookie season. He helped to block for an Eagles offense that led the NFL in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and was fourth in yards per rush in 2021.
Herbig played at Stanford University, the first Stanford player on the roster since guard David DeCastro was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was a two time All-Pac-12 selection in college, including a first-team selection in 2017. He was also a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention selection.
Related News: How Herbig fits with the Steelers
Holcomb added to the defense: The Steelers signed free agent linebacker Cole Holcomb to a three-year contract.
Holcomb spent the last four seasons with the Washington Commanders after they drafted him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
He played in 50 games in Washington, starting 48 of them. He has recorded 382 tackles, including 233 solo stops, and 15 tackles for a loss. He has four and a half career sacks, three interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and 10 passes defensed. He also has nine quarterback hits, five forced fumbles,and one fumble recovery.
Steelers signed LB Cole Holcomb on a three-year contract
Holcomb, who was a defensive captain for the Commanders last year, had his 2022 season cut short when he suffered a foot injury that required season ending surgery. Before suffering the injury, he played in seven games, recording 69 tackles, 37 of them solo stops, and one pass defensed.
He has his best season in 2021, starting all 16 games and finishing with 142 tackles, 83 of them solo stops, and two interceptions.
Holcomb played collegiately at North Carolina, 2015-18, where he was a former walk-on and a teammate of Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Holcomb had 328 tackles in college and was a second-team All-ACC selection his senior year.
Related News: How Holcomb fits with the Steelers
Jack released:The Steelers have released linebacker Myles Jack.
Jack signed a two-year contract last year after spending his first six seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jack played in 15 games in 2022, starting 13. He finished the season with a team-high 104 tackles, 61 of them solo stops. He had three tackles for a loss and three passes defensed.
Jack was drafted by the Jaguars in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the 36th pick overall, out of UCLA. In his six seasons in Jacksonville, he started 83 of the 89 games he played and recorded 511 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, three interceptions, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and scored two defensive touchdowns.
Sutton and Spillane headed elsewhere: The Detroit Lions signed former Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton while the Las Vegas Raiders added linebacker Robert Spillane. Both were unrestricted free agents.
Sutton was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. In six seasons he has played in 84 games, starting 39, with 38 passes defensed, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
For his career Spillane has played in 52 games with 16 starts. He has recorded 166 tackles, 111 of them solo stops, 10 tackles for a loss, eight passes defensed, five quarterback hurries, three sacks, one interception for a touchdown and a fumble recovery.