Last night the news broke that Tyson Alualu has signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a truly shocking revelation considering that it was little more than ten days ago when Aluala decided to “return to where it all started” and agreed to sign a two-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network/NFL.com was first to report Alualu’s change of heart. Apparently, testing positive for COVID-19 delayed Alualu’s planned trip to Jacksonville, which provided him time to reconsider.
Predictably, Alualu’s fellow Steelers teammates reacted with jubilation upon hearing the news that Tyson will be back for 2021 and 2022.
Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt offered this reply to Pelissero’s tweet
Meanwhile, fellow Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward fired off a couple tweets of his own.
Steelers cornerback Joe Haden was also in touch with Alualu and celebrated the news, prompting the following exuberant reply from social media-savvy offensive tackle Zach Banner.
The latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!
Pittsburgh’s D-Line Rotation Remains the Same
It’s easy to understate the potential impact of Alualu’s return to the Steelers lineup, as the soon-to-be 34-year-old has been a pivotal part of Pittsburgh’s defensive line rotation for the past four seasons.
Specifically, he has been responsible for 140 total tackles, along with seven sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits, plus eight passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
So while the Steelers have lost several key pieces from last year’s highly-ranked defense (including outside linebacker Bud Dupree and slot cornerback Mike Hilton), the defensive line figures to remain largely unchanged in 2021. Naturally, the unit will be led by starting defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, plus Alualu and mid-career veteran Chris Wormley, the latter of whom recently signed a two-year extension to remain with the team.
The Steelers also have three young linemen in Henry Mondeaux, plus 2019 sixth-round pick Isaiah Buggs and 2020 seventh-rounder Carlos Davis. The Steelers are also hoping that Calvin Taylor and/or Demarcus Christmas step up in 2021, with Christmas a former 2019 sixth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks whose strength is defending the run. Both Taylor and Christmas are signed to one-year Reserve/Future contracts. Meanwhile, Buggs and Davis on on their rookie contracts while Mondeaux is entering the second-year of a two-year agreement he signed in 2020, one that is scheduled to pay him a $780,000 salary in 2021.
Jaguars Rejected, Again
It’s the second year in a row that a free agent has experienced a change of heart and backed out of a contract agreement with the Jaguars, this according to Demetrius Harvey of Big Cat Country.
Last offseason, the team agreed to terms with former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard on a three-year deal, only to see him turn around and ink a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!