Tyson Alualu

Tyson Alualu Aiming For New Steelers Deal

The Steelers have made a number of moves on the defensive line this offseason, which has left Tyson Alualu on the open market into June. The veteran aims to play in 2023, and his preference would be another campaign spent in Pittsburgh.

During an appearance on The Sick Podcast, the 36-year-old spoke about his plans for the upcoming season. He acknowledged that little is known with respect to his immediate future since he remains unsigned, but his approach to the offseason has not been different from those of years past. Another Steelers contract is his target, though a move elsewhere could still be in the cards.

“I’m preparing like I will play this season,” Alualu said. “I can’t tell where it’s gonna be. But in a perfect world, I would love to be back with the Steelers and finish here. But I’ve been training and it felt normal.”

The former top-10 pick spent the first seven years of his career in Jacksonville, starting 87 of 110 contests with the Jaguars. That was followed by a series of two-year deals with the Steelers, including one in 2021 which came after he appeared to have a return to Duval County in place. Alualu was limited to two games that year, but he returned to full health last season and suited up for all 17 contests.

The Cal alum saw his snap share fall to a career-low 27%, however, and he received a poor evaluation from PFF in run defense in particular, something which had traditionally been a strong suit. The Steelers have since made a number of decisions along their defensive front – including a new, three-year deal for Larry Ogunjobi – which do not include Alualu.

Pittsburgh has in-house option Montravius Adams as a familiar face at the defensive tackle spot. The team also signed Armon Watts and Breiden Fehoko in free agency, and added Keeanu Benton in the second round of this year’s draft. The Steelers currently have over $15.7MM in cap space, so they could easily afford a modest deal for Alualu if they reciprocated his desire to play at least one more year in Pittsburgh. If that is not the case, though, it will be worth monitoring if interest from other teams picks up in the summer.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/8/22

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived/injured: DT Bryce Rodgers

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Commanders

  • Signed: WR Matt Cole
  • Reverted to IR: WR Jequez Ezzard

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/27/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: OL Keenan Forbes, G Eric Wilson

Steelers Place Tyson Alualu On IR

The Steelers have placed defensive lineman Tyson Alualu on injured reserve, per a club announcement. There’s no word on his timetable just yet, but the veteran will be out for a minimum of three weeks. 

Alualu was forced out early on Sunday and fitted for a cast later that day. The Steelers went on to lose to the Raiders, 26-17. They’re now at the .500 mark heading into Week 3 when they’ll face the rival Bengals.

It’s a rough break for the Steelers’ D-Line since Alualu is their starting nose tackle. As you may recall, the 34-year-old was moments away from leaving the Steelers for Urban Meyer and the Jaguars in the spring. Instead, he had a change of heart and re-upped in Pittsburgh.

Alualu was the 10th overall pick of the Jags way back in 2010. He’s never lived up to his draft status, but he’s still been a solid player up front. That includes some quality work last year when he played on ~44% of the team’s defensive snaps and finished with 38 tackles, two sacks, and five passes defended. He received very strong marks from Pro Football Focus for his work as a run defender.

For now, the Steelers will turn to Isaiah Buggs and Carlos Davis for help. And, to further fill in, they’ve promoted defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux from the practice squad.

Tyson Alualu Nixes Jaguars Deal, Re-Joins Steelers

After agreeing to join Jaguars, Tyson Alualu had a change of heart. The veteran defensive end has instead re-signed with the Steelers on a two-year deal, according to sources who spoke with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). 

The Jaguars verbally agreed to a two-year, $6MM deal with Alualu on March 16. The 33-year-old (34 in May) planned to make it all official on a trip to Jacksonville, but a positive test for COVID-19 forced him to postpone the trip. While quarantining in his Pittsburgh home for ten days, the veteran edge rusher reconsidered his decision.

Alualu was the 10th overall pick of the Jags way back in 2010, and although he’s been a solid player, he never really lived up to his draft status. He has had a bit of a late career resurgence in Pittsburgh, including some quality work with the Steelers last year. He played on ~44% of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps in 2020 and finished with 38 tackles, two sacks, and five passes defended. He received very strong marks from Pro Football Focus for his work as a run defender.

Now, the big fella will return to one of the league’s best defenses. Meanwhile, Urban Meyer will have to look elsewhere for interior line help.

Jaguars To Sign Tyson Alualu

Tyson Alualu is headed back to where his career started. The veteran defensive tackle is signing with the Jaguars, his agent Kenny Zuckerman announced on Twitter.

It’s a two-year deal worth $6MM for Alualu, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweeted. It’s a nice payday for a player that will turn 34 in May. It’s a familiar rate for Alualu, as each of his last three contracts signed have been two-year deals for about $6MM. The Cal product was the 10th overall pick of the Jags way back in 2010, and although he’s been a solid player he never really lived up to his draft status.

Alualu had a bit of a late career resurgence in Pittsburgh, and was widely praised for his work with the Steelers last year. He played about 44 percent of the defensive snaps in 2020 (on arguably the league’s best defense), and finished with 38 tackles, two sacks, and five passes defended. He received very strong marks from Pro Football Focus for his work as a run defender.

The big fella will now help man the middle of Urban Meyer’s first defense in Jacksonville. The Jags have been busy so far, and they just signed Shaquill Griffin to a big contract earlier this afternoon to anchor the secondary.

Steelers, Tyson Alualu Agree To Extension

The Steelers and defensive end Tyson Alualu have agreed to an extension, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). The new two-year attachment will keep Alualu under contract through the 2020 season. 

Alualu spent his first seven seasons with the Jaguars before signing with the Steelers in 2017. The 31-year-old (32 in May) has since appeared in 31 games (seven starts) for the Steelers. In ’17, he logged four sacks, but had zero sacks last season and a career-low 22 tackles.

Alualu’s unimpressive stat line may have led him to re-up with Pittsburgh rather than testing the open market. He also played in just 311 snaps, so he didn’t have a ton of film for other teams to review. The advanced metrics weren’t keen on Alualu in 2018 either, though Pro Football Focus has never given him a great score.

North Notes: McCarthy, Lions, Tuitt, Ravens

Mike McCarthy‘s enjoyed the benefit of coaching two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and the Packers have qualified for nine playoff brackets in the coach’s 12 previous seasons. But with the team in danger of missing the NFC bracket for the second straight season, McCarthy appears to be firmly on the hot seat. The 13th-year Green Bay coach’s job status is “pretty clearly” uncertain regarding 2019, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). McCarthy signed a one-year extension to take him through the ’19 season, so the team isn’t committed long-term here. He’s now reporting to team president Mark Murphy under the post-Ted Thompson power structure, and with Brian Gutekunst now GM, different voices will have a say if McCarthy will be brought back.

That’s the job. That’s the way this business has gone,” McCarthy said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, when asked about his status. “I’m not going to get into comparables, but at the end of the day that’s part of the job responsibility of the head coachWe set a standard here the past 12 years and it’s our responsibility to play to that standard.”

The Packers are venturing near must-win territory if they want to secure their ninth playoff berth in 10 seasons. They face the Vikings in Minnesota next week.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions:

  • The post-Megatron Lions relied on the Marvin JonesGolden Tate tandem. For the first time since Calvin Johnson retired, neither will suit up for Detroit. Jones is out for Sunday’s game against the Panthers after missing practice this week, and ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein reports the veteran Lions wideout is seeking a second opinion on his injured right knee. Initial tests revealed no damage to Jones’ ACL or MCL, and Jones was diagnosed with a bone bruise. He’ll miss only his second game as a Lion. T.J. Jones would likely be the starter in Marvin Jones‘ place.
  • T.J. Lang‘s Lions tenure hasn’t gone as smoothly from a health standpoint. The former Pro Bowl guard landed on IR this week because of a neck injury, but that setback is not believed to be career-threatening, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. Lang also suffered a concussion that forced him to miss time earlier this season. He only played in six games this season after missing three in 2017. Set for his age-32 season next year, Lang — with an $11.1MM cap number — will be a release candidate in the offseason. The Lions could save more than $8MM by releasing the acclaimed blocker. Lang is due a $500K roster bonus on the fourth day of the upcoming league year.
  • Darius Slay, however, will be back for the Lions after missing Week 10. Bears wideout Allen Robinson gouged the Lions in Slay’s absence, but the All-Pro cornerback was not on the injury report as of Friday and will return Sunday.
  • While the 2018 Jaguars haven’t been the kind of impediment the 2017 version was, the Steelers will be without a key starter in their attempt to beat a team that went 2-0 against them last season. Stephon Tuitt will miss Sunday’s game with an elbow injury he sustained against the Panthers. Tyson Alualu will start in Tuitt’s place up front, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Although Robert Griffin III has been mentioned as a possible Ravens starter Sunday, the expectation remains Lamar Jackson will take the reins, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Jackson’s hospital trip Thursday, coupled with Joe Flacco‘s hip injury, left Griffin as the Ravens’ lone practice quarterback that day. But Jackson returned to practice Friday.

Contract Details: Claiborne, Geno Smith

Let’s take a look at the details of some recently-signed contracts:

  • Morris Claiborne, CB (Jets): One year, $5MM. $2.5MM base salary. $2MM signing bonus. $31K per game bonus if on 46-man roster. (Twitter link via Manish Mehta of the Daily News).
  • Lorenzo Alexander, LB (Bills): Two years, $5.95MM. Cap numbers of $2.55MM (2017) and $3.4MM (2018). $1.1MM signing bonus. Base salaries of $2MM (2017, fully guaranteed) and $2.45MM (2018; $300K fully guaranteed; $1MM guaranteed for injury only). $300K roster bonus due on third day of the 2018 league year and additional per-game roster bonuses of $6K+ in 2018. Incentives up to $850K (2017) and $1.25MM (2018) in playing time and Pro Bowl incentives. (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Geno Smith, QB (Giants): One year, $775K base. $25K workout bonus. $800K in play time incentives. $12.5K per-game roster bonuses. Max value of $2MM. (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).
  • EJ Manuel, QB (Raiders): One year, $800K. No guaranteed money. (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com).
  • Kellen Moore, QB (Cowboys): One year, $755K. $100K fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).
  • Tyson Alualu, DL (Steelers): Two years, $6MM. $1.75MM fully guaranteed. (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).
  • Kevin Minter, LB (Bengals): One year, $4MM. $2.1MM guaranteed. (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
  • Frostee Rucker, DE (Cardinals): One year, $1.08MM. $80K fully guaranteed. $500K+ available through incentives. (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).

Steelers To Sign Tyson Alualu

The Steelers will sign former Jaguars defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’ll be a two-year deal worth $6MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter)."<strong

Alualu has not lived up to his Top 10 draft status in the NFL, but the Steelers aren’t counting on superstar production out of him either. Our updated ranking of the remaining free agent defensive tackles had Alualu towards the back of the top 15. It’s not clear if the Jaguars had any real interest in re-signing him, which says something about where he is at this stage of his career.

Alualu, 30 in May, appeared in 14 games with ten starts last season for Jacksonville. He amassed 36 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus were down on him, just like they always have been.

Although Alualu is naturally a defensive tackle, he did see some time at defensive end in 2016. It’s not immediately clear where the Steelers plan on using him.

With Alualu gone, Chad Henne and Marcedes Lewis are the only players remaining from the Jaguars’ 2012 roster, ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco (on Twitter) notes.