Center A.Q. Shipley, the Pittsburgh Steelers seventh-round draft pick in the 2009 draft, was traded Thursday morning from the Indianapolis Colts to the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional 2014 draft pick.
The former Penn State center did not make the Steelers 53 man roster out of training camp in 2009, but he showed enough during the preseason to warrant him being signed to the practice squad.
In January of 2010, the Steelers reportedly tried to sign Shipley to a futures contract, but he opted instead to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. Once again he did not make the 53 man roster in Philadelphia and spent the 2010 season on their practice squad.
Last season, after signing with the Indianapolis Colts during the offseason, Shipley was promoted to the Colts 53 man roster from their practice squad in early October after the starting center Samson Satele went down with an injury. Shipley would go on to start five games for the Colts in 2012.
Now that Shipley is with the Ravens, he is expected to compete for the starting center job against Gino Gradkowski, the younger brother of Steelers backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, now that veteran Matt Birk has retired.
Being a member of the Ravens must feel weird to Shipley, who said in his post selection conference call in 2009 that he was Steeler fan growing up in Pittsburgh.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Shipley in April of 2009. “As a Steeler fan growing up especially being from Pittsburgh – it means the absolute world to me when I finally got the call and Coach Tomlin got on the phone it was unbelievable and meant the world to me.”
When Shipley was originally drafted, it was thought by many that he wouldn\’t be around the league long because of his short arms. The player nicknamed “T-Rex” seems to have proved several of his doubters wrong.