The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed center/guard J.C. Hassenauer to his one-year exclusive-rights free agent tender for the 2022 season, the team announced on Tuesday.
The Steelers placed the tender on Hassenauer in March. Exclusive rights free agents have extremely limited negotiating ability, and most sign the tender that teams must offer to retain their rights.
Under the tender, Hassenauer will have an $895,ooo salary that is not guaranteed for 2022.
Hassenauer played in 13 games and started three last year, including the final two games against Cleveland and Baltimore that resulted in wins for Pittsburgh, leading them to the a playoff spot. He also started in the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs, taking place of rookie Kendrick Green.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after the season that he thought Hassenauer performed well after Green left with a calf injury, and Hassenauer stayed in the starting lineup after Green returned to practice.
Hassenauer made his NFL debut for the Steelers against the New York Giants in Week One of the 2020 season and played in 15 games that year, starting four.
Prior to his debut, Hassenauer spent time on practice squads, including the Atlanta Falcons in 2018, before making it on to the Steelers’ in 2019. He also played for the Birmingham Iron of the defunct AAF during their one season in spring 2019.
This year, Hassenauer will compete again to keep a spot on the Steelers offensive line. The Steelers signed free agent center Mason Cole and Bears free agent guard, James Daniels to three-year deals to improve their offensive line play.
Guards Kevin Dotson and John Leglue are also slated to return, giving the Steelers five experienced options in the interior this fall already, before they have the opportunity to add to that group in the 2022 NFL Draft.