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Report: Steelers Sign Ex-Bears, Falcons OLB James Vaughters

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Steelers OLB James Vaughters

The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to sign outside linebacker James Vaughters, according to a report by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

Vaughters, 29, was most recently released by the Atlanta Falcons in May. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound edge rusher spent the 2021 season with Atlanta, playing in 10 games. He recorded eight tackles, one sack, four quarterback hits and one forced fumble.

Before his time in Atlanta, Vaughters spent two seasons with the Chicago Bears. He played in three games in 2019 and 14 games in 2020. He set a career high that season with 22 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

Vaughters played in Canada in 2017 and 2018, with the Calgary Stampeders, winning a Grey Cup in 2018. He also spent time on the offseason roster of the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers.

A Chicago native, Vaughters played high school football in Georgia before attending Stanford. He was a two-year starter for the Cardinal, playing both inside and outside linebacker. He recorded 51 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss as a senior in 2014.

The Steelers have been desperately searching for viable depth behind starers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith at outside linebacker. With Highsmith and Genard Avery hurt and Watt held out, Derrek Tuszka and Delontae Scott started the team’s first preseason game on Saturday night, to mixed results. Tuzar Skipper and recently signed Ron’Dell Carter and Hamilcar Rashed Jr. are the team’s other options.

The Steelers will need to clear a space on their 90-man roster in order to sign Vaughters.

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