Steelers, Batch agree to contract
As expected, following the departure of Byron Leftwich, the Steelers turned to Charlie Batch to shore up their depth at quarterback.
Batch and the Steelers agreed to a one-year, $875,000 contract Tuesday that allows the veteran quarterback to stay with his hometown team.
Batch, who was an unrestricted free agent, missed the 2008 season after breaking his collarbone last August during the Steelers' first preseason game.
The team signed Leftwich following Batch's injury, and he performed well as Ben Roethlisberger's backup. Leftwich signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers earlier this week, and he will get a chance to compete for the starting job in Tampa Bay.
Batch, 34, figures to reprise the role he had held since 2005, when the Homestead native became Roethlisberger's primary backup. The only other quarterback on the Steelers' roster is Dennis Dixon, and the second-year man has thrown only one career NFL pass.
Batch, who started four games from 2005-07, is active in the Pittsburgh community and also is the Steelers' representative in the players' union.
He got hurt last preseason while carrying the ball after a broken play. He has been working out regularly at the Steelers' South Side facility and is expected to be at full strength when the team begins offseason practices next week.
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