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Steelers sign five as free agency kicks off

The Steelers got a fast jump on free agency this year, signing five players within the first 24 hours of the NFL's new league year.

The team bolstered their roster with the signings, which includes quarterback Mitch Trubisky, offensive linemen Mason Cole and James Daniels, linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback Levi Wallace.

All five players were in Pittsburgh on Thursday, and the initial reaction was how much they love the Steelers culture and the overall family feel the organization has.

"The people around the building, the interactions you have, the people you meet, how everyone treats each other. Culture wins," said Trubisky. "I can tell it's going to be a great fit here in Pittsburgh with the culture. I am excited to contribute to that. This is where I wanted to be. I wanted to play for Coach (Mike) Tomlin, be a part of the real Steelers history and contribute to that."

Below is a breakdown of all five of the Steelers new additions, including what they had to say when they arrived in Pittsburgh.

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky was signed to a two-year contract and is excited to be in the black and gold.

"This is definitely where I wanted to be," said Trubisky. "Going through free agency with my agent we went through all of the options where I thought would be a great fit for me in the future. When we found out Pittsburgh had interest, I talked to my agent and said this is where I want to be. I think it would be a great situation for me to come here. Luckily it worked out. This is where I wanted to be. I am happy to be here."

Trubisky brings with him plenty of experience, starting 50 of the 57 games he has played in during his five-year career.

He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chicago Bears, who selected him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the second player taken overall. He played for the Buffalo Bills in 2021, where he backed-up Josh Allen, playing in only six games with eight pass attempts.

"I have a lot more experience now," said Trubisky. "Taking all the games I started in Chicago and everything I learned in Buffalo, I think I am more of a veteran now. I have been through three or four offenses at this point, so I know what I like, I know what works. I know what great communication and culture looks like between players and coaches. I feel like mentally I am in a really great space to get back on the field and do great things. I am here to do whatever I can to help the Steelers win."

During his time with the Bears, Trubisky started 50 of 51 games, completing 1,010 of 1,577 passes for 10,609 yards and 64 touchdowns, 37 interceptions and a passer rating of 87.2. He also brings mobility, with 190 rush attempts for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns.

Trubisky was the fastest Bears quarterback to reach the 10,000-yard plateau, doing so in 49 games. He passed Bears legendary quarterback Jim McMahon, who reached the 10,000-yard mark in 58 games.

He had career highs in passing yards (3,223) and touchdowns (24) in 2018, and completions (326) and attempts (516) in 2019, while racking up 3,138 yards and 17 touchdowns that season and being selected to the Pro Bowl.

In his rookie season, Trubisky set Bears' franchise records in multiple categories, including completions (196) and passing yards (2,193).

In five seasons he has completed 1,016 of 1,585 passes for 10,652 yards and 64 touchdowns, with 38 interceptions. He also played in two postseason games, completing 45 of 72 passes for 502 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 92.5.

Offensive lineman Mason Cole was signed to a three-year contract.

"I think the biggest thing was the opportunity with the offensive line," said Cole. "I never cared where I play, it's about whatever I can do to help this team win and bring a Lombardi Trophy here to the City of Pittsburgh. Whatever that role is, I am here for it, and whatever they need me to do."

Cole spent his first three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2021. In his four seasons he has played in 60 games, starting 39, working at both the center and guard positions.

Cole was traded from the Vikings to the Cardinals last March. Last season he played in 14 games, starting seven for the Vikings. He started four of those games at center, beginning in Week 9 at Baltimore through Week 12, and then started the next three games at right guard. Cole finished the 2021 season on the Reserve/Injured List with an elbow injury.

In his three seasons with the Cardinals, Cole played in 46 games, starting 32. He started 30 of those games at center and two at guard.

Cole was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the 97th overall selection. In his rookie season, Cole started all 16 games at center, becoming one of six offensive linemen in his draft class to do so.

Cole played collegiately at the University of Michigan where he set a school record for offensive linemen, starting all 51 games during his time there.

Offensive lineman James Daniels was signed to a three-year contract.

"I am really excited to be a part of this organization," said Daniels. "It's a great opportunity for me to improve as a player and a person. I am excited to get to work."

Daniels spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, who selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the 39th overall selection.

In four seasons Daniels has played in 54 games, starting 48 of them. He has started 23 games at left guard, 17 at right guard and eight at center.

In 2021 he started all 17 games for the Bears at right guard, part of a line that blocked for an offense that had multiple 100-yard rushing games during the season.

The 2020 season didn't play out the way he would have liked. He started the first five games at left guard, before suffering a pectoral injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5, causing him to miss the rest of the season.

The 2019 season saw Daniels split time between center and left guard, starting all 16 games but splitting the positions. He started the eight games at center, before moving to left guard for the second half of the season.

Daniels has been a regular in the starting lineup since his rookie season, when he played in 16 games, starting 10 at left guard. He was part of a line that season that allowed just 33 sacks, which was tied for third fewest in the NFC. He was also named to the 2018 ESPN.com All-Rookie team.

Linebacker Myles Jack was signed to a two-year contract. Jack spent six seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was released just before the start of free agency.

"Once I got on the phone with Coach Tomlin and got to speak with him, the first thing he said is we are trying to win a championship and we need that on defense. Once he said that it was a no-brainer," said Jack. "That's what I am here to do. That's all I want to do, get to work and play football. That's it."

Jack started 83 of the 89 games he played in during his six years with the Jaguars and started every game he played in following his rookie season. In his six seasons he 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 two defensive touchdowns.

Jack led the Jaguars in tackles in 2021 with 108, including 62 solo stops. He also had three tackles for a loss and two quarterback hurries. Jack was voted a team captain for the second-straight year and was the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.

In 2020 Jack started all 14 games he played in with a career-high 118 tackles, 72 of them solo stops. He also had six tackles for a loss, five passes defensed, a sack and an interception. He was one of five NFL linebackers with at least 115 tackles, two fumble recoveries and one interception in the 2020 season.

Jack started 11 games in 2019 before being placed on the Reserve/Injured List on Dec. 5 with a knee injury. He finished the season with 66 tackles, 42 solo stops, four passes defensed and one interception.

He started every game in 2018, recording his first career 100-plus tackle season. He was an iron man, playing every defensive snap, which was 1,020 snaps, and was one of only three players in the NFL to play 100 percent of his team's defensive snaps.

Jack was drafted by the Jaguars in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the 36th pick overall, out of UCLA. He played in 16 games his rookie season, making 10 starts. He finished the year with 22 tackles.

Cornerback Levi Wallace was signed to a two-year deal, coming to a team he admired from afar.

"I've always been a fan of Pittsburgh and how they play defense here," said Wallace. "When Pittsburgh called, I was more than excited to come. I am excited to be here. I am excited to be a part of this special place and special defense."

Wallace said he is excited to come in and work with Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff, a team he admired from a distance before signing.

"I am ready to learn under them and fit into this defense," said Wallace. "Wherever I can fit in, wherever they need me, I am here to compete and to make plays for the Steelers. That's why I am here, because of my competitive spirit. I have that fighter's mentality, that fighting spirit. I look forward to challenges. This is another chapter, another challenge, and I am excited to take it on full speed ahead."

Wallace has played in 52 career games, starting all of them. He has 219 tackles in four seasons, 171 of them solo stops. He also has recorded 30 passes defensed, six interceptions, seven tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.

Wallace started at cornerback for the Bills in all 17 games in 2021, playing 92.2% of the defensive snaps. He recorded 58 tackles, including 17 solo stops, a team-high 10 passes defensed, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a tackle for a loss.

He recorded a career-high 76 tackles, including 66 solo stops, in 2019, adding four tackles for a loss and two interceptions and nine passes defensed.

Wallace originally signed with the Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft, and his 52 starts are the most by an undrafted defensive back since 2011. His rookie season he started seven games, recording 37 tackles and three passes defensed.

He played collegiately at the University of Alabama where the former walk-on earned a scholarship and started for their National Championship team in 2017, alongside Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

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