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Jaguars Sign Steelers Free Agent DE Ziggy Hood


The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost another one of their unrestricted free agents as John Oehser of jaguars.com is reporting Thursday morning that defensive end Ziggy Hood has reached an agreement with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hood, who is expected to sign his contract soon after making a visit Wednesday to Jacksonville, will more than likely be kicked inside and play a one-gap defensive tackle position in the Jaguars defense just like he did during his college career at Missouri.

Hood, the Steelers, first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, started 46 of a possible 80 games in five seasons with Pittsburgh and never missed a game.

The Steelers lost backup defensive lineman Al Woods to the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday, so that now means the team is down to just two defensive linemen currently under contract that have meaningful playing time experience.

If the Steelers do not address the defensive line at all by signing an outside free agent, they might be forced to re-sign veteran defensive end Brett Keisel at some point during the offseason.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • dkoy85

    This makes me sick- I hope they have a plan in place NOW! Gotta have faith.

  • Spencer Krick

    Hope the FO knows something we don’t.

  • Nolrog

    I thought all along that they should bring Keisel back on a vet min deal.
    I’m concerned about the lack of DL in general, but not so much concenred about the loss of Hood. Felt we needed to upgrade anyway.

  • Caesar

    There has to be a plan behind this, they wouldn’t just let Woods and Hood walk with not backup plan. And since DL is one of those places where they stubbornly refuse to play rookies, the plan can’t just involve the draft. Do they have some understanding with Keisel? Targeting Alex Carrington? Targeting a NT to bump McClendon out to end? Something…

  • richheddleson

    They know a lot of things we don’t…………

  • Caesar

    The problem is supposedly Keisel won’t sign for veteran minimum. Maybe he can’t get a market and changes his mind, but as of the last I heard he wanted more than minimum.

  • Spencer Krick

    Maybe Arnfelt had the best 2 snaps anyone has ever seen last year :P

  • Anthony

    Don’t see this as much of a loss, Ziggy is just a guy.. Get a true NT and move Mclendon to DE.. Sign Keisel for one more year…

  • Paddy

    Might as well make some money, I think the team really is cleaning house and not settling for mediocrity

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Well, I won’t panic yet, but I must admit I am concerned. Woods had position flexibility that I really liked. That being said I don’t think he was worth what they paid him. Hood was an average Dlineman. Nothing flashy, but dependably average. Now he is gone. Right now, our Dline looks atrocious. Heyward, Fangupo, McLendon, N. Williams, and Arnfelt. I like the young kids, but I’m not sure I want them as my primary backups either.

    What this shows me is this team was plenty happy to let some of these guys who never developed just walk away. Hood, Woods, Dwyer, Sanders….

  • Kenneth Wilt

    You have to think the opposite is true. Mediocrity was the definition of Hood as a former number 1. He was never more then an average Dlineman. I don’t think they wanted Woods to leave, but they weren’t going to overpay either.

  • dkoy85

    True. When all is said and done I did want them to move on from Hood, but that was when I thought they would retain Woods. Now it’s getting a little concerning because rumor has it Keisel doesn’t want to sign the vet minimum and I wanted them to sign him as depth/mentor, not a starter.

  • dkoy85

    Any solid D-lineman floating around worth signing?

  • shawn

    ditto !

  • http://batman-news.com steellife007

    He will play better at DT in a 4-3 than he did for us at DE in a 3-4. It wasn’t his falt he didn’t fit in that position and he appeared to come to work and play hard so for that I wish him luck except against us lol.
    It’s best we move on from him and collect the comp pick we will get for him next draft!

    I think we made the right choice with him…I wish we could have kept Woods but if we get a NT, McL can start at DE and play NT in a pinch…much like Woods.

  • shawn

    funny !

  • shawn

    A lot of people will be happy he is gone … I for one WILL NOT be one of them !

  • METAL_HAMMER

    My thoughts so far:

    We were looking so good early this off-season with the restructuring of Antonio Brown’s and Troy Polamalu’s contracts (assuring Polamalu would retire with the Steelers) and with the re-signing Will Allen as well. We also started to look pretty good while dabbling early in the free agency market (with the signing of Mike Mitchell), but all that ‘looking good’ ended soon after that with the loss of RB Johnathan Dwyer and DL Al Woods to free agency. Also, with Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood looking elsewhere for bigger contracts than the Steelers are willing to offer them, as of now, leaving Cameron Heyward as pretty much the only decent defensive lineman on the team, once again the Steelers may get the short-end of the stick when all is said and done with free agency in 2014. The Steelers normally don’t go for too many players from the free agency market, but this year they may have to do just that and do it soon.

    This is the ‘thinnest’ the Steelers been in a while as far as linebackers and defensive linemen are concerned. They are in much need of depth on the defensive side of the ball as the Steelers will surely incure injuries in 2014 as all teams in the league will. With hardly no true starters that can really anchor the defensive line, it will be another year of shifting guys around in and out of position. Shifting guys around is something the Steelers have done well over the years when injuries come into play, but that was also back when they had great depth at those positions.

    Again, with the loss of Dwyer from the offense, they are becoming thinner there as well. We’d better hope the draft treats us well or we could be looking at another losing season. Not only do the Steelers need to get lucky in the draft with at least one great pick for our defensive line and one great pick for our secondary, but now, we need a great pick at the RB possition just to add depth there behind LeVeon Bell. Johnathan Dwyer had experience and was a real work-horse. Now, if the Steelers can’t get a polished RB through free agency, they’ll have to settle with trying to get a RB through the draft with a pick that could have better been used for a defensive player. A young RB through the draft with no prior experience in the NFL? A young kid who will be forced to step-in and learn the ropes as a starter should Bell get injured? Not good.

    Who knows what will happen between now and the free agency deadline, but the quality players are going fast, folks. We need to make drastic moves and we need to make them quickly. As always, money will be the issue. That’s never a good thing when it concerns the Steelers.

  • Steelers12328882

    What is going on? Why are other teams valuing our former players so highly? I would really like to hear what the Steelers plan was with the D line. As it stands right now I can no longer see the Steelers jumping at an offensive skill position high in the draft like a WR or a TE. It’s all defense now. CB, DE, NT, OLB….

  • Pete Johnson

    This team is embarrassingly thin at spots all over the defense. Everywhere. Anyone who says they aren’t concerned must have their head in the sand, or is too hammered off all the kool aid they have been drinking recently. This teams cap position relative to the rest of the league is still a complete mess, despite what some claim. That is why we can’t even match the smallest of deals right now, just can’t afford it. The Worilds 10m cap number is crushing, and with a depressed market he probably has no problem playing for that this year. He might not get that in a signing bonus if he was a FA the way things have shaped up. And then we get to pay him even more when we are in this same position next year with him.

  • 20Stoney

    The question is where does this nose tackle come from? I don’t see a lot of sure things available.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agreed Hood needs to be replaced by a potential starter in FA but as far as Woods they surely can find someone in FA to fill that void. We shouldn’t be up in arms about a backup and an underachieving starter signing somewhere else. We have to get better and we can’t improve with mediocre talent on the roster

  • T R

    Dave if he sticks at the Jags. what kinda compensatory do you get for a number 1? i’m sure it wont be a 1 or 2 , maybe 3?

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’d bring in T Cody from the Ravens and give him a shot to resurrect his career. I’m sure he’d be motivated along with being pretty cheap.

  • CrazyTerry

    This is a win win for both the Steelers and Hood. Hood may be a better fit in their system. And Steelers do not overpay for someone thoroughly mediocre in their system. Jacksonville saved the Steelers from another front office cap related blunder.

  • 20Stoney

    That is an option. I really don’t know enough about his career to have a valid opinion of him one way or another. Is he “just a guy,” or is he a player that was stuck behind a really good player?

  • Alan Felicia

    Wow, lots of doom and gloom talk for losing a first round Bust (Hood) and a backup Defensive Lineman. IMO, coaching staff are ready to play Arnfelt and Williams.

  • srdan

    I agree. A lot of people posting want their cake and to eat it at the same time.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Bingo. A lot of fans don’t realize that Hood and Woods are back up caliber players. Instead of wasting $ 5-6 million/yr (on the pair), go out and get a Heyward-like starter, and let Arnfelt and Williams be your cheap back ups.

    I think the coaches like McLendon at NT. Could we use an upgrade like Dontari Poe? Of course. Everyone could. And I’m sure we will look for one. But Woods does not give us any more than McLendon.

    Hypothetically speaking, Justin Ellis (NT) could be drafted about the 4th round and give us a very solid back up NT for practically no money.

  • treeher

    Guys, most of you are acting like we’ve lost an all pro. I’m in the camp that calls Ziggy a bust for a first round selection. Team will deal with the free agent losses and my bet is that in the end we will have significantly upgraded the D line.

  • Madi

    The coaches are planning to start a 7th rounder with a torn ACL and no practice, and an UDFA with two career snaps that couldn’t crack the active roster without a couple injuries? You think? This is not the plan. Ziggy was a good way to keep us afloat while those guys or others matured. Now he’s gone, so we need a replacement.

  • Madi

    Who doesn’t want to eat their own cake? In what kind of messed up world do I get a cake and then have to just stare at it?

  • Pete Johnson

    His original draft position means nothing. We will get a 7th(maybe), it goes to the contract mainly and he got nothing relatively speaking.

  • pat

    Well 3 is the highest you can get there are no 1st or 2nd round compensatory picks

  • srdan

    lol

  • Madi

    That has nothing to do with it. The contract value is what determines that. 1 and 2 aren’t possible. 3 is for the $60 million contracts. Depending on what the numbers turn out to be Ziggy’s contract could be worth a late round pick (6 or 7), but that could also be offset by FAs that WE sign (Mitchell). Unlikely we get anything.

  • shawn

    exactly

  • shawn

    Just a guy that you could count on and delivered stability … would i like an upgrade heck ya … but we already have too many needs, we didnt need this at this time !

  • AndyR34

    I also agree somewhat. While I don’t consider Hood a bust, we had lots of people on this board who wanted Arnfelt to start over him anyway. Well…now they apparently have their wish. Same with Woods…he was a back-up who in all likelihood had already reached his potential that wanted starter money. Well…not in P-Burgh. Similarly…D. Johnson was chronically injured…Dwyer’s style did not fit a ZBS scheme on offense…thus why he was cut last year. Except for Hood…these are back-ups on an 8-8 team and if we as fans think they are critical pieces to a play-off caliber team, we are dumber than dumb.

  • shawn

    the reason people are bummed is we already had a lot of needs that we were hoping to upgrade … we didnt need to tack on any more !

  • dkoy85

    I liked him as a backup or a mentor for a young guy and believe we do need an upgrade over him, but right now it doesn’t feel good. I’m assuming they are going to address this in FA.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I don’t think our current salary spending is outrageously out of line with league market values. The problem is our lack of depth because we have whiffed on some draft picks lately.

    Offense: Ben’s salary is fair. Brown’s salary is fair. Heath’s salary is fair. Almost our entire OL are still on their rookie contracts as well as our feature RB. We aren’t wasting any money there.

    Defense: Timmons’ salary is pretty fair (maybe a tad high). Worilds’ salary is about to be fair once they extend him (maybe a tad high). Polamalu’s salary is fair. Ike’s salary is now fair.

    Who are we currently paying that’s too high?

    We do have some dead money in Colon, Woodley, and I believe Harrison. Most teams do. That’s part of the business. Guys get injured unexpectedly and hit the cap hard.

    The real problem is whiffing on all those CB picks (Brown, Burnett, Butler, Frederick, Hawthorne). And even some LB picks (Carter, Gibson, Sylvester, Davis). That is why we have no depth on defense. Not the cap.

  • shawn

    exactly where do u propose we get this Heyward like starter and with what money …. would love to hear your answer !

  • shawn

    My view is the Steelers were ill pre-prepared for FA and everything has just rushed by them and they have been caught with their pants down … I DONT think they have a clever master plan up their sleeves … i just think it has more likely been poor management !

  • Steve

    Seems like “The Sky is Falling”. Dwyer and Woods were both backups. Yes they were service able, but we go on without them. Teams had their chance to sign Dwyer last year when he was cut. Bell is our running back and will get the majority of carries.

  • dkoy85

    They’re bringing in Carrington today for a visit

  • shawn

    he was at the bottom of the round … wasn’t a star but far from a bust … just never panned out like they hoped !

  • ergomesh

    Bj Raji?

  • shawn

    lol

  • shawn

    doubt that very much – (significantly upgrade the D line)

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Lamarr Houston just signed for $7 million/yr.
    Red Bryant just signed for $5 million/yr.

    We could’ve had either of them, and both are starting caliber upgrades over Hood for about the money I just quoted.

    Justin Tuck, Julius Peppers, Corey Wooten, Robert Ayers, Adam Carriker, are all still available and would be even cheaper.

    Anything else I can help you with?

  • Pete Johnson

    The doom and gloom has nothing to do with Hood, it has to do with the current state of the barren wasteland of a roster right now, mainly on defense.

  • shawn

    dont know anything about him … but looked at his stat sheet and not very impressed … maybe somebody on here that is VERY familiar with him could clue me in to what it is to be excited about … is he an upgrade to hood ?

  • shawn

    but u have to agree .. so far this has not been a positive FA by any means … sometimes its the role players and not the stars that make a team successful !

  • Steve

    ZBS was scraped. Dwyer fumbling is the reason he was let go.

  • Steve

    Have you ever been to a Gentlemen’s club? LOL

  • Steve

    Raji was offered 4 mil from da Pack. Don’t think we can offer that kind of money to him.

  • shawn

    Very Funny … where do u propose we get that type of money … u are living in dreamland … they are looking at Carrington for gosh sakes lol

  • Steve

    Hood never started for us so good riddance.

  • Alan Felicia

    You are you talking about? Williams? He hurt his knee with no ligament damage. Plus, Williams was in training camp and played 3 preseason games and got hurt agains KC. Where did you get ACL? Arnelt played two games last season.
    Seriously, you’re bent out of shape about Hood? Relax, he was a 1st round Bust. And the last 2 years he started, Steeler defense never improved.

  • Virdin Barzey

    This now makes the Al Woods decision to let him go look real stupid. Never was a Ziggy fan but in all fairness to him, they tried to fit a square peg in a round hole. Wish him all the best. Seems like a really good guy and stayed healthy which is big in this league.

  • DoctorNoah

    Arnfelt! DE of the Future!

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Lol nice

  • Alan Felicia

    Couldn’t agree more, AndyR34! I think alot of Steeler Nation was excited about Al Woods when he played well against Cincy going up against a backup center. Hood never lived up to being drafted in the first round – just compare or gauge him against Heyward, its like night and day! Dwyer? He was cut last season and only brought back b/c Howling got hurt. I’m sure FO will scour the waiver wire after the draft and still find a quality RB.

  • shawn

    he started 46 games … did u mean starred ?

  • Steve

    Dwyer has been off and on in Tomlins doghouse the last few years and there is no way we can give Woods the money he got.

  • steeltown

    Ok…. damn

  • Ike Evans

    Goodbye

  • AndyR34

    ZBS was scrapped last year for several reasons, but it will be back this year. Bell was specifically drafted to run behind ZBS. Bicknell was fired because they couldn’t/wouldn’t run ZBS after Pouncey went down.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    The same money you’re suggesting we use to re-sign Hood and Woods.

    Don’t get so emotional. Hood and Woods were not that good

  • Alan Felicia

    My definition of a 1st round bust – never panned out. This draft choice always P’d me off b/c Colbert and Tomlin had an Inside LB available on the board to eventually replace an aging, 35 yo, James Farrior at the time, yet, they got cute and picked Hood instead. 4 years later, they’re still looking for an eventual replacement. Oh well, potatoe, potato….

  • shawn

    very true about the ILB …. but Hood was more of a 2nd rounder (very bottom of the round) .. he served admirably …. Sweed even Mendenhall was more of a bust than Hood !

  • Alan Felicia

    Problem is Pittsburgh only have $5M under the cap after the Mitchell, Allen, Wallace, and Warren signing. They’re talking to Cotchery and still negotiating a long-term deal for Worilds.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Busts typically don’t get a 2nd NFL contract so I will disagree with you on that point, but I’m not shedding any tears either. Ziggy was a serviceable player…if you need a body to take up snaps, he’s your guy, if you need a DL that can make a splash every other game…he’s not. Arnfelt, Nick Williams, time to step up.

  • Steve

    Keisel and Heyward were our starters. Hood starts were mainly a coaching staff mistake and once they came to their senses last year Cam took the job. Ziggy was ok.

  • Steve

    Last year we were saying the same about center. Found two that did the job.

  • treeher

    Well, yes, but I expect more than “serviceable” from a #1 pick, don’t you? And I think we can replace and even upgrade “serviceable.”

  • Madi

    My bad about the ACL. If you think those guys can replace Ziggy this year, you might be right, but it’s a major projection and it’s unlikely. Hood was decent, and that’s not as bad a thing as people make it out to be.

    I’ll be less bent out of shape if we sign an established FA. I didn’t want to have to draft DL high again, but we may have to.

  • shawn

    he was OK … OK on the DL about now is looking good since we have to target our Secondary still with major upgrades

  • Alan Felicia

    Come on, Mendenhall a more bust? Seriously? Back to back years (2009-2010) of over 1100 Rushing Yards with a possible third until a ACL injury in week 16 (2011). Plus, do you remember the O-Line in 2009? I understand he P’d off alot of people with his 9-11 comment, but, a bust?
    Hood racked up 4.5 total sacks in 2011 and 2012 when he took over for Aaron Smith. Compared to Heyward, also a very late 1st Round pick (31st), racked up 5 sacks last year when he leaped frog Hood and promoted to starter (Week 6).

  • Bradys_Dad

    I have always felt that the press and even folks here gave Ziggy a bad rap. Unless we get aggressive in FA we’re in trouble. Remember folks, assuming we draft a DL in the early rounds, LeBeau doesn’t like to play new blood in their 1st year. I bet this impacts Worilds productivity off the edge.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    As Wild Bill said so stoically to Wyatt Earp in Tombstone…. “Well, Bye.”

  • ATL96STEELER

    We’re on the same page…I think we can do better…I;ve heard good things about N. Williams, hopefully they are true…I have a feeling they will bring Brett back which I’m against…and I really liked him…just time to move on.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Did he make a Pro Bowl? Did he ever play to his first round potential? He was average and that won’t work for his alleged pedigree.

  • treeher

    Considering how thin we are, I’ll take him as a back up. We need presence of vets like that in the locker room.

  • lone pistol

    i understand the depth issue and knowledge of system but really, woods,hoods and dwyer are not stars, we didnt lose a starter or a core player just back ups, im glad there gone except i wouldnt mind having woods, but even he is not a huge blow except for bodies, its not like dwyer was a change of pace back, hood did not fit in our system as well as he will now, and woods is good for a back up, i still like this off season and trust the steelers to make the moves they need, we need to replace back ups not pro bowlers

  • Yiz

    Up until last season he had been the starter since Aaron Smith retired. Actually he was starting for Aaron whwn he got injured his last season.

  • Madi

    Ewwwww…..

  • Will Hammer

    Lmao!!! at some of the Steeler fans .. When Ziggy was here they wanted him out .. Now that he signed with Jag -off ville he’s the next Mean Joe . Com=on this guy underachieved his whole time here . Lets revamp, rebuild this D line. Young turks that come to play every down.. with attitude !!!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I wonder what his salary is?

  • Shannon Stephenson

    My thought on this is that we must feel pretty good about Nick Williams and Brian Arnfeldt where we did not have to give out a lot of cash for reserves.

  • shawn

    I guess i just dont remember those good years as much as u do from mendenhall … ( he was always soft and ran tentatively) what I DO REMEMBER is him getting blasted by Ray Lewis his first year and knocked the f out for the season and fumbling in the Super Bowl which basically cost us another RING … not to mention he was a much higher pick … so YES in my eyes he was a bigger BUST … but i see ur point as well …i think it’s safe to say they both had disappointing careers in SteelTown !

  • srdan

    Four years 16 mill……daaaaaaayyyyyyyymmmmm

  • Douglas Andrews

    2nd Rd pick by the Ravens 6ft 4 340ish NT has underperformed for the Ravens and he’s young 25. Played in about 12 games per season since he was drafted. I’d trust Coach Mitch to coach him up.

  • Douglas Andrews

    If and when they get Worilds locked up long term it should give them back anywhere from 4-5 million in cap space plus they haven’t touched L Timmons contract for a possible restructure. I think we have a lot of options cap wise and also with some cheap FA to replace the guys they lost with better players.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I see most of the needs on the defensive side of the ball. The Offensive side is really in good shape. I would add another WR and a 3rd down back which they will find either in the draft or FA. Hakeem Nicks is still not signed so there’s an option. On the Defensive side they need some depth and are thin at OLB and CB. Those needs will be found in the draft I’m sure.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Will they get a comp pick for his loss?

  • dkoy85

    Typically yes, but with the signing of FA Mitchell I think it will cancel out the comp pick we would have received for Hood. Dont quote me on it though.

  • shawn

    u make it sound rather easy … in earnest the needs are much bigger … look below

    Immediate needs

    TE … 2 TE’s in the next couple years one to replace Heath and one to split out
    WR – preferably a bigger one
    RB- back up to spell Bell and or Short yardage
    RB/KR – change of pace back x factor
    LT- if he does not work out

    DL x 2 players
    OLB – depth and/or Worilds and JJ dont cut it
    ILB – If V williams doesnt work out
    CB- 2 solid CBs … one to replace Ike the other for packages … u can never have enough quality Dbs
    S- one to take over for which ever one doesnt work out between Shark and Mitchell and/or could be solid depth .. will allen and golden dont cut it

    Punter
    LS … get rid of warren already

    Thats a lot of needs by my book !

  • shawn

    nor were they that bad … its obvious to many here we are going in the wrong direction … we were 8-8 the last couple years .. .and showed every bit of that mediocrity … but its ok u can keep ur head in the sand if u like !

  • Douglas Andrews

    Are we talking about this years roster or future ones???
    You have 2 starting caliber TE 1 a formLer pro bowler and 2 backups to fight it out for 3 spots
    WR= I stated above as a need
    RB= Backup RB draft or FA same with 3rd down back also LSH is still out there if healthy
    LT= Beachum was your starter played well but is he a pro bowler no. Also have Mike Adams and a new O line coach to work with him so he could end up being a starter at RT or LT
    DL= Arnfelt and N Williams plus FA or draft could also bring back Kiesel for a 1yr contract
    OLB= addressed as a need above
    ILB= V Williams starter will get better/ Not sure if Spence is gonna be a big contributor but reports sounds positive and they also have Garvin
    CB=addressed above as a need
    S= Mitchell/Polamolu/Shark/W Allen/Golden
    LS=Warren and also brought in Bryce Davis to challenge
    KR= from draft or FA pickup

  • shawn

    Im looking at the next couple years … and I’m thinking contending for championship … otherwise we could just keep the same tired players ..

    We really need 1 TE this year to split out … Heaths replacement should be taken next year to give him one year to be tutored … dont see Heath playing more than 3 yrs do u ?

    CB alone realistically needs to be selected 4 picks to safely say we will get 2 solid starters( including late rounds & UDFA over next 2 yrs) … thats why I’m saying we have a lot of needs … u act like we can just pick one pick for each need at every round and we hit a home run … I wish .. not how it works ….

    Realistically we can solve 2-3 holes thru FA and 3-4 holes thru the Draft … do the math … we have a lot more holes !

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agree to disagree… Realistically this is not even a week into FA and with the draft I think we should be in better shape with a few signings than we were last season. Remember last season they were holes everywhere ILB TE RB and we put it together to end up with a 8-4 run.

  • shawn

    I guess we shall see

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