Pittsburgh Steelers Rumors & News

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: CB Greg Mabin

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: WR Brian Brown
  • Released: S Jameill Showers

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: OT Storm Norton
  • Cut: DE Pat O’Connor

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: G Darrell Greene

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: CB Ryan Lewis

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Extra Points: Steelers, Tuitt, Saints

Here’s a look around the NFL:

  • Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt has a chance to play this week against Minnesota, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). Tuitt has been classified as week-to-week with his bicep injury.
  • In light of the Zach Strief injury news, Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter) notes that likely replacement Senio Kelemete can earn $200K by playing in 50% of the team’s snaps and up to $600K at 70%. The Saints will be without the tackle for at least a few weeks.
  • Texans guard Jeff Allen is expected to miss at least one game with an ankle injury, Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. Allen, one of Houston’s starting guards, is in year two of a four-year, $28MM pact. He appeared in 14 games last season, all starts.
  • Wide receiver Cobi Hamilton is working out for the Texans this week, a source tells ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). The former Pittsburgh receiver could round out a banged up unit that is missing both Bruce Ellington (concussion) and Will Fuller (collarbone).
  • The Chiefs gave running back Akeem Hunt an upgraded practice squad contract, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. He’ll now make $36K per week, which comes out to $615K for the year. Hunt signed on with KC’s taxi squad on Sept. 5 and it sounds like the Chiefs weren’t the only team interested in his services.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/17

Today’s minor roster moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

  • Cut: CB LaDarius Gunter

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: ILB Steven Johnson
  • Cut: LB L.J. Fort

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/17

Monday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Promoted from practice squad: DT Tyrique Jarrett

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Geremy Davis
  • Waived: CB Jeff Richards

Minnesota Vikings

  • Released with injury settlement: QB Taylor Heinicke

New Orleans Saints

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Adam Bighill

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Good News For Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt is week-to-week with a biceps injury, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’s not ideal, but the Steelers are breathing a sigh of relief after they initially feared a complete tear of the muscle. Stephon Tuitt

Tuitt exited the Steelers’ season opener against the Browns in the first quarter. He could miss next week’s game against the Vikings and Week 3 against the Bears, but the Steelers should get the starting bookend back in the lineup before long.

The 25-year-old recorded 37 tackles, four sacks, 20.5 pressures, three passes defended, and two forced fumbles in 2016. The advanced metrics told a similar story – he finished out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 20 ranked interior defender.

The Steelers rewarded him ths offseason a five-year $60MM extension that includes $14MM in full guarantees. The former second-round pick was scheduled to earn a base salary of just over $1MM for the upcoming season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Fear DL Stephon Tuitt Tore Biceps

The Steelers fear that defensive end Stephon Tuitt tore his biceps on Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). If confirmed, the injury will end Tuitt’s 2017 season.Stephon Tuitt (Vertical)

Tuitt secured himself financially before the campaign began, agreeing to a five-year $60MM extension that includes $14MM in full guarantees. Originally scheduled to earn a base salary of just over $1MM for the upcoming season, Tuitt will now earn $14MM this year: $1MM in base salary, plus a $11MM signing bonus and a $2MM roster bonus.

A second-round pick in the 2014 draft, Tuitt has made 44 appearances and 32 over three seasons with Pittsburgh. One of the more underrated defensive lineman in the league, the 25-year-old managed four sacks ad 20.5 pressures in 2016 while grading as the NFL’s No. 20 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus.

If Tuitt is done for the year, the Steelers will turn to veteran Tyson Alualu and 2015 sixth-rounder Leterrius Walton to take on more snaps, while practice squad defensive end Lavon Hooks is now a candidate for promotion. Alternatively, free agents with experience in a 3-4 defense — such as Arthur Jones, Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey, or Jaye Howard — could be on Pittsburgh’s radar.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

More Details On Last Offer To Le'Veon Bell

  • We heard back in August that Le’Veon Bell turned down a lucrative extension offer from the Steelers at the eleventh hour, and La Canfora writes that the star back would have actually received $18MM in the first year of the deal. However, the average annual value of the extension was $13MM over the first three years, and Bell has been adamant that his next contract pay him $15MM per year. Contrary to that August report, La Canfora says Pittsburgh officials never believed a deal was done, though they were optimistic given the strength of the offer. The two sides are expected to renew long-term discussions as soon as the season is over.

Details Emerge On Stephon Tuitt Deal

Following the extensions for Antonio Brown and Alejandro Villanueva, the Steelers locked down Stephon Tuitt on the eve of their 2017 opener. Tuitt agreed to a five-year, $61MM extension on Saturday, and the details of that deal are out. Tuitt will receive an $11MM signing bonus and stand to earn $24MM in new money in the deal’s first two years, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports, adding the fourth-year defensive end will collect $14MM in 2017 as opposed to the $1.05MM he was set to make. Florio adds there is no guarantee after the first year of the contract, which is typical for Steelers deals.

In Tuitt and Cameron Heyward, the Steelers have two interior defensive linemen earning at least $10MM annually. They join only the Jaguars and Bills in that group.

Steelers Activate Le’Veon Bell

It’s official now. Le’Veon Bell is a part of the Steelers’ 53-man roster going into the 2017 season.

The Steelers activated the fifth-year running back on Saturday and cut linebacker Steven Johnson, whom they re-signed earlier this week, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets.

Johnson played in Pittsburgh last season, seeing action in six games, after stays with the Broncos and Titans from 2012-15. The Steelers cut Johnson upon slashing their roster to 53 players but re-signed him two days later. The 29-year-old Pennsylvania native could conceivably be brought back soon.

Bell, who signed his franchise tender earlier this week, will play in Week 1 for the first time since the 2014 season. He missed the past two Steelers openers because of suspensions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Sign DE Stephon Tuitt To Extension

Stephon Tuitt will remain in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the Steelers have signed the talented defensive end to a five-year extension. Schefter adds that the deal is worth $61MM. The deal is effectively for six years, as the team ripped up the final year of Tuitt’s contract. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the defensive end will now earn $15MM in 2017.

Stephon TuittWe heard yesterday that the two sides were nearing a deal. Considering the team’s policy to not discuss new deals during the regular season, today appeared to be the unofficial deadline for negotiations. The team previously had $7MM in cap room, and with Tuitt set to earn a $12MM average annual salary, we can only assume that that number has been reduced. The defensive end was set to hit free agency following the season, and he was scheduled to earn $1.094MM in 2017. Our own Dallas Robinson noted that the going rate for similar defensive ends was around $10MM a year, and it looks like Tuitt will come in right above that mark.

The 2014 second-round pick has spent his entire three-year career with the Steelers. Following a solid rookie season, Tuitt broke out in 2015, finishing with 54 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 14 games (14 starts). The 24-year-old was equally productive in 2016, compiling 37 tackles, four sacks, three passes defended, and two forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus was especially favorable of his performance, as he ranked 20th among the league’s eligible interior defenders.

Considering the Steelers relative lack of depth at defensive end, Tuitt will be especially leaned on during the upcoming season. Besides fellow starter Cameron Heyward, the team is rostering a pair of backups in Tyson Alualu and Leterrius Walton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.