The Steelers have had a busy offseason so far, and this week it's back to work for the black and gold as Phase 1 of the offseason program has begun.
As the Steelers start on the segment that includes strength and conditioning, it's a good time to catch up on all of the offseason roster changes.
The Steelers roster has taken on a different look, with unrestricted free agents added on.
Among those signed was All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson was an unrestricted free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
Peterson said his attraction to the Steelers was the attitude the team has on defense, something he is excited to be a part of.
"The guys they have on the defensive side of the ball, first and foremost," said Peterson. "To have the opportunity to play with T.J. (Watt), Minkah (Fitzpatrick), Cam (Heyward). To have the chance to be with a core group like that…you can't ask for a better group to be around. And with the identity this team has, me being a player who prides myself on being a part of a stout group, this had my name written all over it.
"Any time you look at a Pittsburgh Steelers team you just think about the bruising mentality the defense brings. The bully mentality they bring. For years the defense has always been the identity of this organization. The offense has always had great players as well, but when you think of the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's the Steel Curtain, guys like Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, James Farrior. I wanted to have my name be associated with those guys as well."
The team also has kept seven of their own players, keeping them from going elsewhere in free agency. Included in that group is defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who was happy to remain in the black and gold.
"It's definitely a good place to be," said Ogunjobi. "A good environment. Good city, good energy."
The full update of what has happened so far this offseason is below, and we will bring you more updates as they happen.
A look at the moves:
Receiver Ja'Marcus Bradley signed to Reserve/Future contract: Bradley, who was signed to the practice squad in November, spent time with the Cleveland Browns during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He played in eight games, finishing with nine receptions for 124 yards. His best game was against the New York Jets in 2020 when he had five receptions for 60 yards. He played collegiately at Louisiana-Lafayette and had 60 receptions for 906 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year.
Receiver Dan Chisena signed to Reserve/Future contract: Chisena spent the last three years with the Minnesota Vikings after they signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. He made the Vikings 53-man roster in 2020, the only rookie undrafted free agent to do so that season. Chisnea has played in 27 games over the last three seasons, including 14 his rookie season, mainly on special teams. He has 10 special teams tackles and one fumble recovery.
Offensive lineman Le'Raven Clark signed to one-year contract: Clark spent part of the 2022 season with the Tennessee Titans, signed after Week 3 of the season. He played in 13 games last season, starting two games, one at right tackle and one lined up as an extra tight end. Clark began the 2022 season on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad. He originally joined the Eagles in 2021, playing in four games with one start at right tackle. He also spent time on the practice squad and the team's Reserve/Injured List. Clark was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has played in 64 career games, starting 18, with those starts coming at left tackle (6), right tackle (5) and right guard (5).
Defensive back Duke Dawson signed to Reserve/Future contract: Dawson was signed to the practice squad on Oct. 12. Prior to that, Dawson was last with the Carolina Panthers, signing with them during their 2022 training camp but released before the season started. Dawson was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He suffered a hamstring injury his rookie season and was traded to the Denver Broncos prior to the 2019 season. Dawson played in 26 games, with four starts, for the Broncos in 2019-20, recording 27 tackles, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery. He missed the 2021 season after tearing his ACL near the end of the 2020 season. Dawson played at the University of Florida where he was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2017.
Guard William Dunkle signed to Reserve/Future contract: Dunkle originally signed with the Steelers in training camp and was added to the practice squad before the start of the regular season, spending the season there. He entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent in May with the Philadelphia Eagles. Dunkle played college football at San Diego State (2018-21) where he started at right guard in 30 of his 32 games played. In 2021 he earned All-America honors from the Associated Press, Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Network.
Linebacker Emeke Egbule signed to Reserve/Future contract: Egbule was signed to the practice squad in December. Prior to joining the Steelers, he spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He played at the University of Houston where he started all 13 games his senior season, finishing the year with 69 tackles, 5.5 for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Nose tackle Breiden Fehoko signed to 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. Fehoko has played in 23 games, starting 12, and has 36 career tackles, including 15 solo tackles. 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.
Receiver Dez Fitzpatrick signed to Reserve/Future contract: Fitzpatrick was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He played in four games in 2021 and was on the Titans practice squad in 2022. Fitzpatrick played at the University of Louisville where he had 154 receptions for 2,589 yards with 21 touchdowns during his career.
Tight end Zach Gentry signed to one-year contract: 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. He finished the year with 19 receptions for 132 yards. 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.
Defensive back Madre Harper signed to Reserve/Future contract: Harper originally signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Raiders practice squad before he signed with the New York Giants, playing in nine games in 2020 and finishing with five tackles. He was with the Carolina Panthers in 2021 and 2022, spending time on the practice squad this past season. Harper played two seasons at Southern Illinois after transferring from Oklahoma State.
Guard Nate Herbig signed to 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. 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.
Linebacker Cole Holcomb signed to 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. 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.
Running back Jason Huntley signed to Reserve/Future contract: Huntley spent part of the season on the Steelers practice squad. Prior to Huntley joining the Steelers he spent the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Huntley has 18 carries for 70 yards, and one reception for no yards. In 2021 he had 13 carries for 51 yards. Huntley was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of New Mexico State.
Safety Damontae Kazee signed to two-year contract: 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 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.
Long snapper Christian Kuntz signed to one-year contract: Kuntz, a Pittsburgh native, has been the team's long snapper the last two seasons, playing in a total of 34 games over the two seasons. He originally joined the team during the 2019 preseason and spent the 2020 season on the Steelers practice squad. Kuntz also spent time with the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars. Kuntz played at Chartiers Valley High School and collegiately at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He finished with a school record 30.5 sacks while playing linebacker, winning two Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year awards and is the only player in school history to earn All-American honors three times.
Center Ryan McCollum signed to Reserve/Future contract: McCollum spent the 2022 season on the practice squad. McCollum was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions during training camp. McCollum signed with the Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft. He saw playing time with the Lions, including starting one game.
Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. signed to Reserve/Future contract: McFarland spent the entire season on the practice squad and was elevated to the Active/Inactive Roster for the Falcons and Colts games. He had six carries for 30 yards and two receptions for 11 yards against the Colts in his only action of the season. McFarland was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 14 games, with no starts, over three seasons. He has 42 carries for 146 yards. He also has nine receptions for 76 yards.
Receiver Anthony Miller signed to one-year contract: Miller spent the 2022 season on the Reserve/Injured List after he suffered a shoulder injury in training camp. Miller was signed to the Steelers practice squad during the 2021 season and was elevated to the Active/Inactive roster for the game against the Bengals at Cincinnati, finishing with one reception for two yards. Miller was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has played in 50 games, starting 18, in his time with the Bears, Houston Texans and Steelers. He has 140 receptions for 1,589 yards, a 11.4-yard average, and 12 touchdowns.
Safety Keanu Neal signed to two-year contract: Neal has played in 80 career games, starting 61 of them in seven seasons. He has 463 career tackles, 320 solo stops, and 21 tackles for a loss. He has 20 passes defensed, 11 quarterback hits, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 2.5 sacks. 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, 39 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.
Defensive back Scott Nelson signed to Reserve/Future contract: Nelson spent part of the 2022 season on the practice squad. Nelson originally signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft. Nelson was released by the Seahawks on the final roster cut before the start of the regular season and was re-signed to the practice squad for a short stint. Nelson finished with 127 tackles, 81 solo stops, in 29 games at Wisconsin. He added 11 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, a forced fumble, a sack and 19 passes defensed. In his senior season he set career highs with 60 tackles, 40 solo stops and tied his career-high with seven passes defensed.
Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi signed to three-year contract: 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. 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.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson signed to two-year contract: 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. 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. 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.
Cornerback James Pierre signed to 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.
Linebacker Elandon Roberts signed to two-year contract: Roberts, who is entering his eighth season, 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 two Super Bowl teams, Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII.
Defensive back Kenny Robinson signed to Reserve/Future contract: Robinson, who is from the Pittsburgh area, was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 19 games in 2020 and 2021 combined, with one start, and had 18 tackles. He spent time on the Panthers practice squad in 2022. Robinson played at West Virginia University where he earned all-Big 12 honors and eventually signed with the XFL.
Linebacker Quincy Roche signed to a Reserve/Future contract; The Steelers selected Roche in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the 216th pick overall. He was released during training camp that year and claimed off waivers by the New York Giants. Roche spent the last two seasons with the Giants where he played in 17 games, starting three. He has recorded 36 tackles, 21 of them solo stops, two and a half sacks and a forced fumble. He spent the majority of the 2022 season on the Giants practice squad. Roche came to the Steelers from the University of Miami where he played one season after transferring from Temple University. At Miami he started 10 games in 2020 for the Hurricanes, finishing the season with 45 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for a loss, ranking second on the Hurricanes and third in the ACC, and added four and a half sacks. He was tied for the lead in the ACC with three forced fumbles and he had two fumble recoveries. Overall he recorded 54 tackles for a loss, 30.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries in his combined time at Miami and Temple.
Linebacker Chapelle Russell signed to Reserve/Future contract: Russell spent the entire 2022 season on the practice squad. He previously spent the 2021 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing in 16 games, starting one, and finishing the year with 14 tackles. He has played in a total of 27 games, with one start. Russell was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the 241st overall selected. He spent the majority of the 2020 season on the Bucs practice squad and was claimed off waivers by the Jaguars on Jan. 11, 2021.
Guard Isaac Seumalo signed to 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.
Running back Master Teague signed to Reserve/Future contract: Teague was with the Steelers for a short time in training camp this year and spent time on the practice squad. Teague played college ball at Ohio State (2018-21) where he rushed for 1,764 yards and 17 touchdowns. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Teague also caught 11 passes for 118 yards. In 2020 he rushed for eight touchdowns, third-most in the Big Ten. Teague, who played in 31 games for the Buckeyes with six starts, played on three consecutive Big Ten championship teams and two that advanced to the College Football Playoffs. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020, and third team in 2019.
Defensive lineman Armon Watts signed to a one-year contract: Watts, who is in his fifth season in the NFL, was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the 190th overall selection. He spent his first three seasons in the league with the Vikings and the 2022 season with the Chicago Bears. Watts was claimed by the Bears after the Vikings waived him on the final roster cutdown of the preseason. He played in all 17 games in 2022 for the Bears, starting 13. He finished the season with 35 tackles, 18 of them solo stops, four tackles for a loss and one sack.While with the Vikings he played in 40 games in three seasons, starting 10. He recorded 91 tackles, 44 of them solo hits, seven sacks, three tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and one pass defensed.
Receiver Cody White signed to Reserve/Future contract: White spent the 2022 season on the practice squad and played in one game, with one reception for two yards against the Colts in Week 12. White played in 15 games for the Steelers in 2021, finishing with five receptions for 33 yards. He spent time on the Steelers practice squad in 2020. White was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2020 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos.
Defensive back Chris Wilcox signed to Reserve/Future contract: Wilcox was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was waived prior to the start of the season and claimed by the Indianapolis Colts. He spent a short stint on the active roster before being signed to the practice squad. Wilcox, who played at BYU, spent time in 2022 on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad.
Tight end Rodney Williams signed to Reserve/Future contract: Williams spent the majority of the 2022 season on the practice squad. He was originally signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft but released during the preseason. Williams played college ball at Tennessee-Martin, where he played in 53 games, starting 26. He finished with 99 receptions for 1,217 yards and seven touchdowns, finishing his career ranked ninth in school history in receptions.
Defensive tackle Renell Wren signed to Reserve/Future contract: Wren was originally signed to the practice squad in Sept., spending all but one week on there in 2022. Wren was elevated to the Active/Inactive Roster for the team's Week 17 game against the Ravens and saw action, as well as the Week 18 game against the Browns although he did not play. Wren came to the Steelers after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2022 offseason but was released by the team before the start of the season. Wren spent the majority of the 2021 season on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad and was called up for the season finale against the Cleveland Browns. Wren was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.