Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will continue his tour of the AFC North by signing a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Ogunjobi spent his first four seasons with the Cleveland Browns before recording a career-high seven sacks, a team-high 12 tackles for loss and 49 total tackles last season for the Cincinnati Bengals.  

This is the second time this offseason that Ogunjobi has agreed to a free-agent contract, signing a reported three-year, $40.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears in March before that deal fell through when he failed his physical.  

Ogunjobi started 16 games last season for the Bengals but suffered a season-ending right foot injury during a Wild Card round victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Ogunjobi will replace the retired Stephon Tuitt as the third starter on the Steelers' defensive line, along with Cameron Heyward and Tyson Alualu.

He should help Pittsburgh improve a run defense that finished 32nd in the NFL last season in rushing yards allowed and 32nd in rushing yards per attempt. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick says he feels "no pressure" of becoming the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

The Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday announced that the 25-year-old has agreed to a four-year contract worth in excess of $73.6million, with $36m guaranteed.

Fitzpatrick is confident he is worth his huge salary and will repay the Steelers with his performances.

He said: "I think I'm one of the best at what I do. So obviously, you would like to be paid in that way and represented in that way.

"In a week from now or a year from now, somebody's obviously gonna pass it up, but you always want to raise the bar for the guys behind you, want to raise the bar for the people in our locker room.

"I think Mr. Rooney and [general manager] Omar [Khan], they see the work that I put in, and obviously my play on the field reflects that. They're willing to make me that, and I'm appreciative."

He added: "Because I've done it, there's no pressure. That's the standard that I hold myself to day in and day out."

Fitzpatrick felt it was important to get his future resolved before training camp starts next month.

He said: "It was important. I wanted to be out there with my team-mates, practicing and competing.

"The thing I appreciate the most about this organisation is its commitment to winning. The season I came here, they lost their Hall of Fame QB. They could've tanked. But they went out, got me, and added some other guys. It was a season about winning."

A first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2018, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers a year later, having expressed dissatisfaction with his role on the Dolphins' defense.

He was named a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and again two years ago and has 11 interceptions since the start of the 2019 campaign.

Only three safeties, Justin Simmons (14), Quandre Diggs (13) and Tyrann Mathieu (13) have registered more interceptions in that time.

He has also racked up 27 pass breakups, tied for seventh-most in the NFL, during that period.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed on a four-year contract extension with Minkah Fitzpatrick to make him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal, which was confirmed by Fitzpatrick's representatives, will pay him over $18.4million annually.

Fitzpatrick will receive $36million in guaranteed money at signing.

A first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2018, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers a year later, having expressed dissatisfaction with his role on the Dolphins' defense.

Since then, he has established himself as one of the premier safeties in the NFL.

Fitzpatrick was named a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and 2020 and has 11 interceptions since the start of the 2019 campaign.

Only three safeties, Justin Simmons (14), Quandre Diggs (13) and Tyrann Mathieu (13) have registered more interceptions in that time.

He has also racked up 27 pass breakups, tied for seventh-most in the NFL, during that span.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have found their long-term answer at quarterback in this year's draft, but the future may not be now just yet for rookie Kenny Pickett.

Mitch Trubisky has taken the majority of reps with the first-team offense during the Steelers' offseason training activities and the mandatory mini-camp that began Tuesday, and the five-year veteran told reporters he is operating with the mindset he will be the starting quarterback when Pittsburgh open the season at the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals on September 11. 

"I'm preparing to be the starter," Trubisky said. "I feel like no matter what position you're in, you should prepare [that way].

"I wouldn't read too much into [the first-team snaps], but I'm getting a lot of good reps and I'm feeling really comfortable in the offense.

"I like where we're at right now and I feel very confident."

With 50 career starts under his belt, Trubisky is the most experienced of the three quarterbacks vying to be the successor to the now retired Ben Roethlisberger, a group that includes Pickett – the former University of Pittsburgh standout taken with the 20th overall pick – and holdover Mason Rudolph.

And with the Steelers having no immediate plans to rebuild following a second consecutive playoff appearance in 2021, the 27-year-old seems to have the inside track at opening the post-Roethlisberger era under center.

The opportunity to start again played a large role in Trubisky's decision to join the Steelers on a two-year, $14million contract in March.

He went 29-21 over four seasons with the Chicago Bears from 2017 to 2020 and helped the team to two playoff appearances during that period, but he did not have his fifth-year option picked up and spent last season as a backup to Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills.

Trubisky said the transition to a new offense and new team-mates has so far gone smoothly.

"I thought we've gotten better every day," he said. "I feel like I'm throwing the ball really well. We've put a lot in and I think the guys have handled it well. We're executing at a pretty high level right now."

While Trubisky saw Pittsburgh as a spot to potentially reestablish himself as a viable NFL starter, the Steelers are hoping the 2017 number two overall pick's arm strength is a good fit for an offense that often struggled generating big passing plays with the ageing Roethlisberger.

Pittsburgh's 6.05 yards per pass attempt in 2021 ranked 30th in the league, trailing only the also-ran Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants.

"He's been one of the quarterbacks to release it, for sure," rookie wide receiver George Pickens said. "Yeah, he's been launching it."

The Pittsburgh Steelers have hired Omar Khan as their new general manager.

Khan, who was most recently Pittsburgh's vice president of football and business administration, has worked for the Steelers for 21 years.

He replaces long-time GM Kevin Colbert, who in January announced his decision to step down after the 2022 NFL Draft.

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity to be the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers," said Khan.

"I would like to thank Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin, and Kevin Colbert for their support throughout this process.

"I am ready for this challenge and grateful to continue the success we have had on the field during my first 21 years.

"I look forward to completing our football operations staff and working tirelessly to build another championship football team for Steelers Nation and our community."

 

Kenny Pickett will get to stay in Pittsburgh, after being selected by the Steelers with the 20th overall pick.

No quarterbacks came off the board in the first 19 picks as defensive players and wide receivers dominated the headlines.

And, given the freedom to choose from what most considered to be an uninspiring litter at quarterback, the Steelers went with a player who already called Heinz Field home.

Pickett excelled in his final year playing for the University of Pittsburgh, leading the Panthers to an 11-3 record and an ACC title.

He completed 67.2 per cent of his passes for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in the class, Pickett delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 82.70 percent of his passes last season, the highest ratio of anyone in the draft, according to Stats Perform data. His pickable pass rate of 2.11 percent was also best in class.

Pickett excels at throwing with timing and anticipation, frequently hitting his receivers in stride to maximise their potential to create yards after the catch.

He can make throws with pressure in his face and moves well in the pocket to escape pressure while also succeeding at breaking structure and creating with his legs.

A lack of elite arm strength to make deep throws outside the numbers is the concern with Pickett, but the Steelers were clearly not overly worried about that deficiency, catapulting him into a likely quarterback competition with Mitchell Trubisky in the first year of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins has died at the age of 24 after being struck by a car on Saturday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the 2019 first-round pick was hit by a vehicle in South Florida, where he had been training with other Steelers quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin read: "I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins.

"He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community. Dwayne was a great team-mate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family during this difficult time."

Haskins signed with the Steelers in 2021 after being released by the Washington Commanders late in the 2020 season.

Washington selected Haskins with the 15th pick of the 2019 draft after his stellar 2018 season with Ohio State, throwing 50 touchdowns to eight interceptions in that campaign.

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement: "I am absolutely heartbroken to hear of the news of the passing of Dwayne Haskins Jr. Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him.

"This is a very sad time and I am honestly at a loss for words. I know I speak for the rest of our team in saying he will be sorely missed. Our entire team is sending our heartfelt condolences and thoughts and prayers to the Haskins family at this time."

Washington co-owners Dan and Tara Snyder added: "We are devastated to hear the news of the tragic passing of Dwayne Haskins Jr. He was a young man with a tremendous amount of potential who had an infectious personality.

"To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. Our hearts and prayers are with the members of the Dwayne's family and all of those who knew him and loved him."

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin feels lucky to add an asset as valuable as new senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores.

Flores was fired from his role as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in January following the franchise's first back-to-back winning seasons since 2003, finishing 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 in 2021.

During the fallout of his stint in Miami, Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants.

In it, he accused the Broncos and Giants of flawed hiring processes, alleging the two franchises only offered interviews to comply with the league's 'Rooney Rule', which requires teams to interview candidates of colour for head coaching and senior operation vacancies.

The class action brought by Flores alleged the NFL "remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of black head coaches, coordinators and general managers".

Flores also alleged he was offered $100,000 per loss by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in 2019 in an effort to secure a better draft position.

All parties have strenuously denied Flores' allegations.

Flores was confirmed as the Steelers' new defensive assistant and linebackers coach last month, and Tomlin acknowledged that his decision to offer him a role was partly influenced by a desire to ensure he was not exiled from the league.

"I just didn't want him to feel like he was on an island," he told reporters on Sunday. 

"From a coaching fraternity standpoint, I owed him that. I was in position to provide that. I think that started our interactions and conversations.

"Over the course of those discussions, particularly when it became evident he was not going to get a head job, then I think the natural discussion began. 

"It really ran its course rather quickly, to be quite honest with you, because it doesn't require a lot of time to come to the realisation that you can use a Brian Flores on your staff."

Tomlin believes Flores will bring a level of experience that will help shape decision-making on every level.

"Senior defensive assistant and linebacker coach is his title, but there's help that he's going to help us and help me, in particular," he added. 

"I love sharpening my sword on his and gaining a perspective that his experiences provide, that wise counsel.

"We're talking about a myriad of things. Whether it's calendar, whether it's taking care of players, whether it's the acquisition or evaluation of talent, it's been fun to have him. His contributions are going to be significant."

JuJu Smith-Schuster has confirmed the prospect of playing with Patrick Mahomes was a key factor in his decision to join the Kansas City Chiefs.

The one-time Pro Bowler had spent his entire NFL career to date with the Pittsburgh Steelers but announced his departure on Friday.

On social media, Mahomes soon welcomed the arrival in Kansas City of a wide receiver with 323 catches for 3,855 receiving yards and 26 receiving touchdowns across 63 games in five seasons.

After Smith-Schuster secured a one-year, $10.75million deal, Mahomes sent him a Twitter message, which read: "Turn me up brotha!!!"

His new Chiefs team-mate replied: "Can't wait to get after it my boy!"

But that was not their first conversation around the move, as Smith-Schuster revealed when facing the media as a Chief for the first time.

"I had talked to a couple of guys, obviously, to make this happen. I talked to Pat a couple of times. I'd talked to Pat multiple times before even all this. I've known Pat for a while now, so, yeah, of course.

"You go into free agency, and you find out who's going to be throwing you the ball next year. It came down to Pat, and I'm excited. I'm happy with my decision."

Taken in the second round in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster was an instant hit with seven receiving TDs in each of his first two seasons, including a pair of 97-yard scores – becoming the first player in NFL history to have multiple offensive TDs of that distance or more.

There were 1,426 receiving yards in 2018, before a step back in 2019 was followed by a career-high nine receiving TDs in 2020.

Limited to five games by a shoulder injury while the Steelers toiled on offense with the retiring Ben Roethlisberger still at quarterback, Smith-Schuster's only score last season was his first career rushing TD.

The 25-year-old is confident the Chiefs are a good fit for him, though.

 "I just thought that this opportunity fit more for me in the sense of coming here, playing for Andy [Reid] and obviously the OC [Eric Bieniemy], Joe [Bleymaier] and everyone else," he said.

"I've seen an opportunity that I can take on and where I can improve my skills and see what I can do.

"I'm a physical guy coming in here to showcase those talents. That's what I bring with myself, in the package.

"I'm here to work. We have a great team, there are some great guys, and this is why I came to be a part of this. I came here to win."

Patrick Mahomes welcomed the arrival of a new Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver to target after JuJu Smith-Schuster secured a one-year, $10.75million deal.

Smith-Schuster announced his departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday.

The one-time Pro Bowler had spent his entire NFL career to date with the Steelers, with 323 catches for 3,855 receiving yards and 26 receiving touchdowns across 63 games in five seasons.

Taken in the second round in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster was an instant hit with seven receiving TDs in each of his first two seasons, including a pair of 97-yard scores – becoming the first player in NFL history to have multiple offensive TDs of that distance or more.

There were 1,426 receiving yards in 2018, before a step back in 2019 was followed by a career-high nine receiving TDs in 2020.

Limited to five games by a shoulder injury while the Steelers toiled on offense with the retiring Ben Roethlisberger still at quarterback, Smith-Schuster's only score last season was his first career rushing TD.

Paired with Mahomes, though, the 25-year-old can feel confident he will get his career back on track in Kansas City.

Wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce will remain Mahomes' primary weapons, targeted on 28 per cent and 25 per cent of their routes respectively last season, but there is room for another option after Sammy Watkins left following the 2020 campaign. Byron Pringle departed this offseason in free agency and Mecole Hardman has yet to live up to his second-round draft status.

Superstar Mahomes certainly appears eager to link up with Smith-Schuster, quickly welcoming his signing on social media after the new man posted: "#ChiefsKingdom Let's Go!"

"Turn me up brotha!!!" Mahomes replied, to which Smith-Schuster said: "Can't wait to get after it my boy!"

Smith-Schuster had earlier posted a message thanking the Steelers fans, saying: "To all of Steelers Nation. Thank you for taking me in and making me a part of the family from the moment that I was drafted. You all took me in so quickly, and I really needed it.

"I was a wide-eyed 20-year-old who was sent to the east coast away from my family for the first time in my life, and you made me feel right at home, despite all of the loneliness I should have felt.

"These have been the best five years in my life. I owe so much to the fans who embraced me and who made playing on Sundays in Pittsburgh so special.

"It was an honour to wear the black and gold for you all! I love you! JuJu."

JuJu Smith-Schuster is leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers to join the Kansas City Chiefs, the wide receiver appeared to confirm.

The 25-year-old was expected to leave the Steelers and used his official Twitter account to post a goodbye message to the fans, before adding in a later post: "#ChiefsKingdom Let's Go!"

Smith-Schuster will receive a one-year, $10.75M deal in Kansas, according to reports.

He spent five years in Pittsburgh after being drafted from the University of Southern California, playing 63 games and making just one touchdown, which came against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 of last season.

Smith-Schuster posted a screenshot on Twitter that read: "To all of Steelers Nation. Thank you for taking me in and making me a part of the family from the moment that I was drafted. You all took me in so quickly, and I really needed it.

"I was a wide-eyed 20-year-old who was sent to the east coast away from my family for the first time in my life, and you made me feel right at home, despite all of the loneliness I should have felt.

"These have been the best five years in my life. I owe so much to the fans who embraced me and who made playing on Sundays in Pittsburgh so special.

"It was an honor to wear the black and gold for you all! I love you! JuJu."

After four uneven years as starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears and one year as a backup for the Buffalo Bills, Mitch Trubisky was ready for a new start.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers came calling, Trubisky knew that was exactly where he wanted to play.

"My goal through free agency was to find a way to get back on the field," the 27-year-old Trubisky said on Thursday, shortly after his two-year, $14 million deal with Pittsburgh became official.

"When an opportunity arose to play for coach [Mike] Tomlin and wear a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform, I was so excited. Now I'm ready to roll and get to it."

The second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft by the Bears, Trubisky's career never quite took off in Chicago.

He helped the Bears to playoff berths in 2018 and '20 and was reportedly well liked among his teammates, but he was never viewed as being a dangerous downfield passer. Among 41 QBs with at least 600 pass attempts from 2017-20, he ranked 24th in completion percentage (64.0), 29th in passer rating (87.2) and 35th in yards per attempt (6.73).

Part of the reason for his lack of success, however, also stems from an offense that failed to take shape under former Bears coach Matt Nagy.

Trubisky spent this past season as Josh Allen's backup in Buffalo and credits his time there as crucial in recognising the type of organisation he wanted to be a part of.

"I think I learned a lot," he said. "I was in a great organisation and the first thing that I really learned when [I got] to Buffalo is what a great culture feels like, and I already feel like that here, already in my short time in Pittsburgh.

"Culture wins. I could tell when I was in Buffalo, and I can tell it's going to be a great fit here with the culture. I'm excited to contribute to that. It was a huge year for me in Buffalo, just to take a reset and get my mind right and continue to hone my skills and just get ready for the next opportunity."

He joins a Steelers team steeped in tradition and one with an opening at quarterback following the retirement of future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger.

During his 18-year career with the Steelers, Roethlisberger led the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl championships, eight AFC North Division titles and 12 playoff berths.

"They didn't really have to make a pitch to me or sell me on anything," Trubisky said. "This is where I wanted to be, play for coach Tomlin, be a part of the rich Pittsburgh Steelers history and contribute to that.”

Trubisky still must prove he is capable of being Roethlisberger’s heir apparent, however.

General manager Kevin Colbert has said before the team is comfortable going forward with Mason Rudolph, who has gone 5-4-1 in 10 starts for the Steelers since being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft.

Trubisky, though, is confident he has the skill set to win the job and earn the trust of his teammates.

"I'm in a situation where I have to prove myself back on the field," he said. "That's what I'm looking forward to doing. You're always betting on yourself in that sense, and I definitely am in this case.

"You've got to bet on yourself and trust what you're capable of."

The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to have settled on Mitchell Trubisky as the successor to Ben Roethlisberger.

According to multiple reports, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft has agreed a two-year contract with the Steelers.

The former Chicago Bears quarterback spent last season as Josh Allen's backup with the Buffalo Bills having failed to live up to his draft status.

Trubisky will now get the chance to reinvigorate his career in Pittsburgh and has significant shoes to fill after future Hall of Famer Roethlisberger retired following his 18th season in the NFL.

The Steelers had been said to be in the mix for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is available for trade as the Niners get set to start Trey Lance in 2022.

But they have instead avoided sending draft capital to another team and elected to bet on their ability to harness Trubisky's physical tools, something which the Bears largely failed to do.

The Bears traded up from the third pick to the second in 2017 to land Trubisky but, save for a 2018 season in which he was part of a team that won the NFC North only to lose in the Wild Card round to the Philadelphia Eagles, his time with the team was unsuccessful.

Chicago did get back to the playoffs in 2020, a season in which Trubisky and Nick Foles alternated at quarterback, but they suffered a meek Wild Card exit at the hands of the New Orleans Saints.

In his time with the Bears, Trubisky threw for 10,609 yards, 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He also ran for eight touchdowns.

His final season with Chicago saw him record a pickable pass rate of 5.48 per cent, the fifth-worst among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts.

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers are intrigued to see what Mason Rudolph can do but will still be adding to the quarterback position this offseason.

After the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh have uncertainty over their regular starter at QB for the first time since the two-time Super Bowl winner was drafted in 2004.

Rudolph was backup to Roethlisberger over the past three seasons and has started 10 games over that span, while former Washington first-round pick Dwayne Haskins is expected to stay with the team.

The Steelers will also bring in another option, either via free agency, trade or the NFL Draft, but outgoing general manager Kevin Colbert was positive about Rudolph.

"Mason's 5-4-1 as an NFL starter, albeit in a backup kind of role, but we are excited to see what is next for Mason," said Colbert, who will step down as GM after the draft process, per ESPN.

"If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter, and we're excited to see where that can go. I'm comfortable that Mason has won more games than he's lost as a starter.

"Where that can go, we'll see. To be an NFL starter that you can win with, you gotta prove it over 16 games. I'm anxious to see that, if that's the case.

"And we're excited to see what Dwayne can provide either from competition, or maybe he evolves as a starter."

Jimmy Garoppolo has been linked as a possible trade candidate, while the Steelers have the number 20 pick in a draft which does not have a consensus top QB expected to go at the top of the order.

Colbert added: "We know we're going to add to the position. I can't tell you how, but at this point we will go to camp with four [QBs].

"If we had to start today with Mason as our starter, let's go. We'll try to build the best team around him."

Malik Willis, Sam Howell and Kenny Pickett are among the draft prospects Pittsburgh are likely to be doing due diligence on.

"The draft class of quarterbacks, there's good quality available – probably not as many as there have been in recent years, but it is what it is," added Colbert.

"This group, there's good players in it and there's good players that all have a different skill set. 

"That's what was really unique about watching them compete at the Senior Bowl, because the majority of them were there, and they're all different. 

"I know some of them will be starting quarterbacks, winning quarterbacks, and that's exciting."

Mike Tomlin said Brian Flores' resume "speaks for itself" after the Pittsburgh Steelers hired the former Miami Dolphins head coach as a senior defensive assistant.

Flores was fired by the Dolphins after a 2021 season in which he led Miami to a winning record for the second successive year.

He has since launched a class action lawsuit against the league, alleging the NFL is rife with racism and has a "disingenuous commitment to social equity".

Flores named the Dolphins along with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos as defendants.

Among the allegations from Flores is that his interview for the Giants head coaching position was essentially a sham, claiming to have inadvertently learned of their decision to hire Brian Daboll before the interview took place.

It is also alleged in the lawsuit that Flores "was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule" by the Broncos in 2019 and was never intended to be "a legitimate candidate", while also criticising the interview board.

All three teams have denied the accusations against them while the NFL said Flores' claims "are without merit". However, prior to last week's Super Bowl, commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would take nothing off the table in a review of its hiring practices.

Flores interviewed for the head coach role with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints and, despite missing out on those jobs, will have a chance to embellish his already impressive CV with the Steelers after being named senior defensive assistant/linebackers.

"I am excited about Brian Flores joining our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL," Steelers head coach Tomlin said.

"Brian's resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team."

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