The Steelers have signed free agent safety Damontae Kazee to a one-year deal, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (via Twitter). After re-signing Karl Joseph in March and reuniting with Terrell Edmunds at the end of April, it would seem that Pittsburgh’s safety contingent, led by two-time First Team All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick, is largely set.
Kazee brings plenty of starting experience to the table, with 49 starts in 69 regular season appearances. After four seasons with the Falcons, who made him a fifth-round draft choice in 2017, Kazee signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys last offseason. The San Diego State product appeared in nearly 80% of Dallas’ defensive snaps in 2021, recording 52 tackles, two forced fumbles, and a pair of interceptions.
Pro Football Focus assigned him a middling overall grade of 60.9, but given his experience and playmaking upside — 12 career picks, including a league-best seven in 2018 — he can be a useful part of the Steelers’ DB rotation. He also offers some positional versatility, as he is capable of playing corner as well as safety.
Kazee, who will turn 29 in June, also visited with the Seahawks in April. Given that Seattle’s safety depth chart is topped by Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, Kazee perhaps saw a better opportunity in Pittsburgh, despite the presence of Fitzpatrick.
The Steelers had been linked to free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu, but the transactions the club has made at the safety position in recent weeks suggest that Mathieu will be looking elsewhere for his next home. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, may be exploring a monster extension for Fitzpatrick, who is entering the final year of his contract.