Former Packers, Cowboys LB Among 2 Steelers Free Agent Signings


Getty Steelers LB Jayrone Elliott forces a fumble during a preseason game in 2019.

Today the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have signed two free agents—a linebacker and a long snapper. Both were among 5 players that the Steelers had in for tryouts on Monday.

LB Jayrone Elliott

The linebacker is Jayrone Elliott, who originally signed with the Steelers during training camp in 2019, but was released when the team cut down to the 53-man roster. He was subsequently signed on September 10, but released a month later when the team added quarterback Paxton Lynch and running back Trey Edmunds to the active roster. He was brought back on October 23 but released again on October 31, returning to the Steelers in mid-November for a short time.

Elliott played in five games with the Steelers last season, recording four solo tackles.

In his four seasons in the NFL he has played in 43 contests, including stints with the Green Bay Packers (2014-16) and Dallas Cowboys (2017), the latter of which acquired Elliott from the Packers for a seventh-round draft choice. During the course of his NFL career he has 62 total tackles, including seven tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits. He has also recorded one interception, two passes defensed, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble and four sacks.

Elliott played his college football at the University of Toledo where he saw action in 47 games. He had 124 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.

Long Snapper Liam McCullough

As for the long snapper, that would be Liam McCullough, who joins the Steelers as an undrafted rookie out of Ohio State University. He was the long snapper in 55 games with the Buckeyes and was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award in 2019, which goes to the top long snapper in the country. He signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in April as an undrafted free agent but was waived by the Raiders earlier this month.

The Steelers have an established long snapper in Kam Canaday, but McCullough is an insurance policy of sorts in case Canaday’s recent knee injury turns out to be a long-term problem.

To make room for Elliott and McCullough on the roster the Steelers released linebacker Leo Lewis and waived/injured wide receiver Anthony Johnson.

On Wednesday general manager Kevin Colbert addressed the media and explained how recent rules changes have encouraged the organization to sign more veteran free agents, noting how the practice squad is now larger than in years past, and also allows teams to include veterans with more than three accrued seasons of NFL experience.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Steelers soon move to sign an offensive guard. On Tuesday the team worked out former Tampa Bay Buccaneers lineman Caleb Benenoch, and has worked out other offensive linemen in recent weeks.

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