Some unexpected news for Pittsburgh tonight. After initially agreeing with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a two-year deal, NT Tyson Alualu has changed his mind and will sign with the Steelers. That’s according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Alualu had initially agreed to return to Jacksonville on a two year contract worth $6 million. But he has either been convinced or had a change of heart and is circling back to the Steelers.
Pelissero explains the backstory.
According to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, DL coach Karl Dunbar played a key role in convincing Alualu to stay.
Terms of Alualu’s deal aren’t disclosed but according to the Post-Gazette, he’s taking less money to stay in Pittsburgh.
Alualu should resume his role as the Steelers’ starting nose tackle. After being drafted by Jacksonville, he’s spent the prior four years in Pittsburgh. Over that span, he recorder 140 tackles and seven sacks. He moved to NT in 2020 to replace Javon Hargrave and had a fantastic season until he was slowed by an MCL sprain.
It’s a big get for a Steelers’ defense whose lost several starters this offseason.
Alualu played his fourth season with the Steelers in 2020 and he played well. He primarily played at nose tackle in 2020 and that position switch served him well and especially considering the big shoes he had to fill after the team lost defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in free agency a year ago. While Alualu did miss one regular season game due to injury, a rarity for him, he still played 448 total defensive snaps and another 50 on special teams. He also played another 48 defensive snaps in the Steelers playoff loss to the Browns in addition to 8 special teams snaps.
For the 2020 regular season, Alualu recorded 39 total tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, five quarterback hits, five defensed passes and a forced fumble. Add to that three total tackles in the Steelers lone playoff game. Alualu looked like he was 33 going on 23 several times throughout the season and especially when lined up inside over a guard or center.