After spending the first couple of weeks of free agency taking care of their own guys first, the Steelers have signed three players, over the last two days, from outside the organization. The first to sign yesterday was former Kansas City Chiefs RB/KR Knile Davis, whose one year deal could signal the end of Fitgerald Toussaint’s time in Pittsburgh, and not DeAngelo Williams’ as many suspect. Davis should immediately be penciled in as the primary kick returner, and most likely the number three running back, role’s that Toussaint didn’t fare too well in. Knile Davis is a bigger back, at 5’10″/227 lbs, with a good burst and is capable of being a reliabke third down back. As a kick returner, Davis has career return average of 26.8 yards, and a 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to his credit.
Shortly after the Steelers signed RB Knile Davis, they signed CB Coty Sensabaugh to a two year contract. A fourth round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2012, the 5’11″/189 lb Sensabaugh has 2 career interceptions including a 26 yard return for a score. He comes to the Steelers after spending parts of last season with the Rams and the Giants, and is capable of either lining up inside or outside. After signing his deal, Sensabaugh stated that his goal was to get in and help the Steelers win two more games next year. Coty Sensabaugh’s signing could very well lead to the Steelers parting ways with long time cornerback Willie Gay.
The Steelers third free agent signing in the last two days is former Jaguars DT Tyson Alualu. Known as a warrior for not having yet missed a game in his career, Alualu is extremely happy to be in Pittsburgh after years of a losing environment in Jacksonville. Alualu, 6’3″/295 lbs, has 177 tackles and 17.5 sacks in his career to date and will replace Ricardo Matthews. He doesn’t care whether he is a backup or a starter, he just wants to get on the field in whatever capacity is needed to help the Steelers win. Tyson Alualu is a high motor guy, starter capable, and an immediate upgrade who can rotate in at each position along the line. This is one of those signings that might go unnoticed around the NFL, but it is one that will pay immediate dividends for the Steelers.
With $15 million in cap space remaining, the Steelers might not yet be done in free agency. With a need for depth at inside linebacker and safety, the Steelers may be hosting a few more visits, prior to the draft, search of those answers. Whether they do or they don’t, they know what free agency is all about, and they know how to use it. Never a team to make a big splash during this part of the roster building process, the Steelers are one of the better teams in the league at using free agency. They understand the importance of keeping their core talent, and going outside to plug holes and build up depth. That is exactly what they have done this time around with Knile Davis, Coty Sensabaugh, and Tyson Alualu, all of whom provide versatility and quality depth.