THURSDAY, 9:51am: Gradkowski’s one-year deal is worth $965K with $80K guaranteed via his signing bonus, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
MONDAY, 8:18am: The Steelers have officially announced their new deal with Gradkowski.
SUNDAY, 6:30pm: Despite spending last season on the Steelers’ IR, Bruce Gradkowski will be heading back to Pittsburgh with a new contract. The Steelers intend to sign the veteran backup on Monday, Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com reports (on Twitter).
It’s a one-year deal for Gradkowski, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).
He’ll vie for Ben Roethlisberger‘s backup job with Landry Jones, Marvez reports. GM Kevin Colbert said last week the team wouldn’t sign another quarterback until after the draft. Gradkowski worked out for the Steelers recently — a showcase Cobert deemed “satisfactory” — but the team elected to wait before signing him.
Gradkowski’s injury created uncertainty behind Roethlisberger before a season in which that position became incredibly relevant. It induced Pittsburgh to sign Michael Vick, and the now-journeyman reserve did not fare well in relief of Roethlisberger despite being given the first chance. Jones started two games after the Steelers demoted Vick, who started three, but didn’t perform much better. The offense ground to a near-halt under Vick, but he did complete 60% of his throws before Jones connected on 58% of his before Roethlisberger reclaimed his starting job.
However, Gradkowski has never completed more than 55% of his passes in a season. Signing with the Steelers before 2014, the now-33-year-old Gradkowski is also 6-14 in starts — which came for the Buccaneers, Browns and Raiders from 2006-10. Since, the former sixth-round Bucs pick in 2006 served as a backup for Andy Dalton prior to coming to Pittsburgh.
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