Steelers re-sign veteran DL Tyson Alualu to 2-year deal
The Pittsburgh Steelers have remained remarkably stable along the offensive and defensive lines in recent years, and that will continue to Friday’s announced re-signing of veteran defensive end Tyson Alualu.
The 31-year-old Alualu inked a two-year deal. He had served as the top backup at all three starting defensive line positions over the past two seasons since signing as a free agent in March 2017.
The No. 10 overall pick of the 2010 draft – three spots behind Joe Haden and eight ahead of Maurkice Pouncey – Alualu spent his first seven seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His arrival ended the Steelers’ search for a reliable, steady no. 4 defensive linemen to play behind a strong starting group of Stephon Tuitt, Cameron Heyward and Javon Hargrave.
In 31 games (seven starts) for the Steelers the past two seasons, Alualu had four sacks among 61 tackles. He has 95 starts, 21 ½ sacks, 37 tackles for loss and seven passes defended in his career.
“Another (two) years in black and yellow,” Alualu wrote on a social-media post that was shared by the Steelers’ verified Twitter account. “Blessed and extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thank you God, my family and the Steelers for allowing me to continue to do what I love. To my family thank you for always being my inspiration. Excited to be back with the squad.”
A significant upgrade over the Steelers’ previous veteran depth defensive line signings (Cam Thomas and Ricardo Mathews), Alualu made $6 million over the previous two seasons with the Steelers. He started two games in place of an injured Tuitt last season, four in lieu of Tuitt the prior year and the 2017 season finale when the Steelers rested Heyward.
His signing assures that four of the six defensive linemen who spent last season on the Steelers’ 53-man roster will return. Backups L.T. Walton and Daniel McCullers are set to be unrestricted free agents; Lavon Hooks has spent the past three seasons on the Steelers’ practice squad.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .