Steelers ‘open to working’ with Ryan Shazier on return for 2019
Ryan Shazier still wants to resume his NFL career, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are trying to figure out how to keep him on their payroll.
Shazier will be a free agent in March but isn’t ready to resume football activities after missing the 2018 season with a spinal cord injury.
“Ryan, I believe, still intends to rehab with the intention of trying to come back and play,” team president Art Rooney II said Wednesday. “To the extent he wants to do that, we’re open to working that out.”
Shazier was paid $8.78 million in 2018, the amount of the fifth-year option the Steelers exercised the previous year. In May, the Steelers converted all but $458,000 into a signing bonus paid up front to Shazier. The Steelers could try to sign Shazier to a contract worth the veteran minimum while he continues his comeback.
Rooney said NFL rules make it difficult for the Steelers to keep Shazier in a non-playing capacity as long as the linebacker wants to resume his career. Shazier assisted the coaching and scouting staffs last season while recovering from his spinal cord injury.
“There are some technicalities about somebody going from staff to player,” Rooney said. “His goal is to continue to be a player. We’ll have to address it as time goes on and figure out how that works.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at email@example.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .