Former Pittsburgh Steelers’ center J.C. Hassenauer appears to be signing with the New York Giants. According to this tweet from KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, Hassenauer is inking a deal with the team.
A restricted free agent, Hassenauer was not tendered by the Steelers and became an unrestricted free agent. He visited the Giants on March 22nd but did not sign. Now, it seems the two sides have agreed to terms.
Undrafted out of Alabama, he spent time with the AAF’s Birmingham Iron before being signed by the Steelers in 2019. He bounced on and off the roster before finding his footing as a backup interior lineman, seeing time at guard and center. Given the Steelers’ unusually good health along the offensive line in 2022, Hassenauer logged only 46 snaps, a significant decrease after playing more than 300 in 2020 and nearly that many in 2021. In his Steelers career, he appeared in 45 games, starting seven.
Pittsburgh currently doesn’t have a defined backup center. Free agent signings Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig have light experience there; both have seen far more action at guard. There’s also Ryan McCollum, a 2022 training camp add who spent all of last season on the practice squad. He logged roughly 100 snaps for the Detroit Lions in 2021. Despite the Seumalo and Herbig signings, Pittsburgh has continued to do its homework on interior offensive linemen and could add somebody in this year’s draft.
Hassenauer is the second restricted free agent not tendered who signed elsewhere, joining WR Steven Sims, who signed with the Houston Texans. The Steelers did bring back CB James Pierre on a cheap, one-year deal. Hassenauer is the second offensive lineman to sign elsewhere, joining veteran OT Trent Scott, who inked a deal with the Washington Commanders earlier this month. Pittsburgh has signed three offensive linemen this offseason: Seumalo, Herbig, and OT Le’Raven Clark.