All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2021 offseason roster.
29 • Kalen Ballage, fourth-year running back
6-foot-2, 231 pounds
Acquired: Signed a one-year contract as a free agent on March 30, 2021.
Last season: Started the season with the Miami Dolphins, who attempted to trade him to the New York Jets on Aug. 27. The trade was voided after he failed his physical with the Jets. The Dolphins waived him with an injury settlement Sept. 5.
The Jets signed him Sept. 15 and waived him Oct. 5. The Los Angeles Chargers signed him to their practice squad on Oct. 9 and was elevated to the active roster Nov. 7 and then permanently Nov. 14.
Ballage finished the 2020 season with 303 yards on 91 carries for a 3.3 yards per carry average. He also scored three touchdowns.
Career: Drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Had 36 carries for 191 yards as a rookie and 74 carries for 135 yards in 2019.
College: Rushed for 1,984 yards and scored 29 total touchdowns over four seasons at Arizona State.
Camp outlook: There are four players with NFL experience battling it out for playing time between Ballage, Anthony McFarland Jr., Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell Jr., behind presumptive starter Najee Harris.
Ballage doesn’t have the speed of McFarland and his 3.1 yards per carry career average isn’t as good as Snell’s 3.6, but could unseat Samuels as the fourth running back, who saw his role reduced dramatically in 2020.
Future: Will be an exclusive-rights free agent after the 2021 season.
The rest of the 90: