The Steelers signed free agent wide receiver Jayson Foster on Friday. Foster was on both the Steelers and Denver Broncos practice squads during the 2008 season. Foster originally signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2008 as an undrafted rookie out of Georgia Southern. Foster joins a very deep receiver unit of the Steelers and will likely be a candidate once again for the practice squad with a great training camp. Foster is 5-7, 185lbs.
According to reports the Steelers have signed free agent kicker Piotr Czech. Czech was with the Baltimore Ravens last year for training camp and graduated from Wagner College. He is expected to be a camp kicker for the Steelers and not a threat to Jeff Reed.
In a surprising pre draft free agent move, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Colts free agent cornerback Keiwan Ratliff to a one-year contract on Friday. Ratliff reportedly visited the Steelers this past week and was interested in signing, but the Steelers were strapped salary cap wise. The signing of Ratliff takes some pressure off the Steelers to draft a cornerback in the first couple of rounds of this weekends NFL draft. Ratliff was a second-round pick by the Bengals in 2004 and started eight games in his first two seasons.
The Steelers re-signed free agent backup quarterback, Charlie Batch on Tuesday to a one year contract. The contract is reportedly for $895,000 that includes a $50,000 signing bonus. Batch is entering his 11th season in the NFL at the age of 34. Batch suffered a broken clavicle last pre-season and spent the entire year. Batch looks to battle second year quarterback Dennis Dixon for the number two job behind Ben Roethlisberger.
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The Steelers re-signed free agent linebacker Keyaron Fox to a two year 1.8 million dollar contract on Monday. The signing bonus reportedly was $380,000. Fox looks to resume his role as a back up linebacker and a key player on sopecial teams.
The Steelers re-signed veteran tackle Trai Essex to a two-year contract on Tuesday. Essex contract is totaled at $2 million dollars with a $500,000 dollar signing bonus. Going into free agency, the Steelers had four free agent offensive lineman and now have managed to re-sign all of them.
The Steelers have re-signed veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant to a one-year contract on Tuesday. Bryant was a late addition last season for depth in the defensive backfield. Bryant had signed with the Steelers on Nov. 11 and played in only two games. Bryant will try to make the final roster as a reserve corner, but at 31 the odds may be against him.
The Steelers re-signed free agent linebacker Arnold Harrison on Monday. Harrison signed a one-year deal after spending the 2008 season on the injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in the pre-season game versus the Carolina Panthers.
The Steelers have re-signed linebacker Andre Frazier, according to ESPN, he has agreed to a two-year, $1.375 million contract that includes a $125,000 signing bonus. Frazier was an undrafted linebacker signed by the Steelers in 2005 and is 26 years old. Frazier will earn base salaries of $620,000 and $630,000 over the next two seasons with a 2009 cap charge of $682,500.00 and a 2010 cap charge of $682,500.00 if still with the team.
Wide receiver Martin Nance, who ended the 2008 season on Steelers practice squad, re-signed with Pittsburgh last week according to a source. Nance is scheduled to compete with 2008 second round draft pick, Limas Sweed, for the vacated number three receiver spot now that Nate Washington has left via free agency. Nance attended Miami University, where he played alongside quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Below are the contract numbers for Nance.
2009 - $310,000.00
2010 - $395,000.00
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The Steelers signed FB Sean McHugh to a three year, $2.57 million contract on Friday. The Steelers had tendered $1.01 million for one year on Thursday to McHugh, but he opted for a longer contract instead of the tender. The signing bonus was reportedly $390,000. McHugh took over the starting job fullback from Carey Davis late in the season and will be the starter in 2009.
The Steelers released former 2002 first round draft pick right guard Kendall Simmons and linebacker Mike Humpal on Thursday. Simmons tore his Achilles tendon in the fourth game of 2008 and was placed on injured reserve. Humpal, was a 2008 sixth-round draft pick and also was on injured reserve with a neck injury.
The Steelers added depth to their offseason roster by signing first-year defensive end Jordan Reffett to the roster on Monday. Reffett is a graduate of the University of Washington and was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent last April. He was released in training camp and signed to the practice squad in early October and then released a few weeks later.
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Steelers practice squad center Doug Legursky signed a two-year deal with the Steelers shortly after the team returned from Tampa Bay. The deal is predicated on Legursky making the active roster. The former Marshall Thundering Herd offensive lineman spent the 2008 season on the practice squad, but apparently made a good impression. “It’s just the standard two-year contract,” Legursky said. “I still have to make the team. I mean, they can cut you any time they want. But I plan on doing my best to make that roster.”