New DL Tyson Alualu Brings Steelers Position Versatility, Availability, Willingness To Win

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Tyson Alualu to a two-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Despite being considered a first round bust by many, Alualu still has plenty to offer the Steelers as a backup and will provide quality depth behind current starting defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt.

Alualu was known as the surprise pick of the 2010 draft, in which the Steelers chose Maurkice Pouncey eight picks later.

Alualu, a first-round pick in 2010, was the second-longest tenured player on the Jaguars past year, behind only tight end Marcedes Lewis.

Over his seven-year career, Alualu has 17.5 sacks and 258 tackles (177 solo) in 110 games.

"That has been a part of my strength, the versatility of being able to play inside and outside", said Alualu. "Like I said I'm going to come in, try and compete and to help this team get better, to help the D-line around me play better".

After playing defensive tackle in the Jaguars defense in his first three seasons in the National Football League, then-new Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley chose to move Alualu to strong-side defensive end. He recorded 37 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 14 games, though his performance was inconsistent, a common occurrence for the former first-round pick.

Alualu, a native of Hawaii, played collegiately at California. "Just excited about this opportunity". I just want to be a part of that.

Steelers fans should be excited about the team's newest free agent addition as well as he should be an upgrade over unrestricted free agent Ricardo Mathews, who isn't likely to be re-signed now that Alualu has been added.

The Jaguars made him a healthy inactive early in the season, ending a streak of 96 straight games played.

Also this free agency, the Steelers have acquired running back Knile Davis, wide receiver Justin Hunter and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh.

Alualu had meetings scheduled with some other teams, but felt the fit was right in Pittsburgh. They are so close to always being in the Super Bowl. I just wanted a good change.

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