The Pittsburgh Steelers have extended a tender to center J.C. Hassenauer as an exclusive rights free agent. The tender offer for Hassenauer is for one year and for $895,000, according to a report by Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot.
The Steelers have automatically retained Hassenauer’s rights for the 2022 season by extending him an offer, and does not have any rights to negotiate with any other teams. He could still negotiate a longer term extension with the team. If Hassenauer signs the tender, he will be a restricted free agent in 2023.
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 started in the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs, taking place of rookie Kendrick Green.
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 games.
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.
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. This means that Hassenauer needs to prove himself this offseason to make a spot on this roster
The Steelers have now tendered four of their partial-rights free agents, with Hassenauer joining restricted free agents Marcus Allen, Dwayne Haskins and Robert Spillane. Exclusive-rights free agent defensive tackle DeMarcus Christmas, who spent all of 2021 on the Steelers’ injured reserve list, remains un-tendered.