Connect with us


Farabaugh: Steelers Make Critical Re-Signing in Larry Ogunjobi



Larry Ogunjobi

The Steelers are out and about, wheeling and dealing, and while it can be hard to keep up with all the moves they have made, but one move already feels like it has flown under the radar to a degree. When the Steelers re-signed Larry Ogunjobi, it was not just a big deal, but one that allowed them to breathe just a little bit.

See, Pittsburgh has plenty of needs. But defensive live felt like one that was bigger than the rest just because of the lack of bodies they had there going into free agency, and more importantly, the fact that they needed two starters. Chris Wormley’s torn ACL threw everything for a loop, while Ogunjobi is a free agent and Tyson Alualu is 36 years old.

As such, Larry Ogunjobi will return on a three-year deal. Now, a three-year deal worth $9.75 million annually is strong for someone who was as up and down as Ogunjobi was in 2022. However, it is hard to say that they did not get something they badly needed at the position — stability.

This defense can not work without the defensive line getting significant pressure. Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt can only put on their capes so often. But with no suitable replacements in the pipeline and a gaping need across from Heyward, Ogunjobi fills that and gives them an instant starter when they slide inside for sub-packages. That is hugely important for them to have, and Ogunjobi’s deal, at the very least, gives them peace of mind that they have a solid defensive line.

When he was healthy, Ogunjobi wrecked games a season ago. But nagging toe and knee injuries kept Ogunobi from full strength for most of this season. The player in Cincinnati a season before was fantastic. Pittsburgh should have felt like they had a home run signing for getting him at only $8 million for the one year they had him.

I tend to believe that the team can overlook Ogunjobi’s lackluster sack production at only 1.5 sacks last season with those injuries. The tape is downright dominant at times. But the overarching thing about this offseason was that the defensive line market became inflated for many reasons. One of those was a lack of quality players in both free agency and the draft.

The other is that in a two-high world, you need to have the guys up front to play that style against the increase in 12 personnel. Ogunjobi aids them in that. Is he somehow an elite-run defender? No, and that’s okay, but the run defense was noticeably better when he was on the field a season ago.

But with the turnover the Steelers are going to have at this position in the coming years, getting a player like Ogunjobi under contract for three years could prove to be the valuable bridge they needed. Something needed to happen significantly here at the defensive line. In fact, they probably shouldn’t be done just yet. But make no mistake, signing Ogunjobi is a critical piece for their future plans. And if he lives up to the consistency that he showed in years prior to last year, this could just be a steal.

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Steelers Now in your Inbox

Sign up and get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox!

Thank you!