Steelers Sign Veteran Quarterback, Punter

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Steelers Sign Veteran Quarterback, Punter


LATROBE, Pa. ─ The Steelers added depth at quarterback and punter today when they signed sixth-year veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich and 13-year punter Mitch Berger to one-year contracts. Financial terms of the deals were not released.

Leftwich, 28, played the first four seasons of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being selected by the team with the seventh pick in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 after being released by the Jaguars in the preseason.

Leftwich (6-5, 250) played in three games with the Falcons and completed 32 of 58 passes (55.2 percent) for 279 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He has completed 821 of 1,402 passes (58.6 percent) for 9,321 yards, 52 touchdowns, 38 interceptions and a 79.7 passer rating during his five-year NFL career.

Berger, 36, has averaged 43.1 yards per punt during his career, including a 35.9 net average. He played in five games with the Arizona Cardinals in 2007 and averaged 40.7 yards on 20 punts, including a long of 56 yards. He earned a trip to the 2005 Pro Bowl as a member of the New Orleans Saints.

Berger began his career as a sixth round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1994. He has also played with the Minnesota Vikings (1996-01), St. Louis Rams (2002) and New Orleans Saints (2003-05). He was with the Chicago Bears for one game in 1995, but did not play in a game, and missed the 2006 season (New Orleans) due to injury.

The Steelers made room on their roster for Leftwich and Berger by releasing first-year linebacker Anthony Trucks and first-year wide receiver Gerran Walker.

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