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Steelers Bring Ex-WPIAL, WVU Linebacker in for Tryout



Steelers LB Nick Kwaitkoski

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have invited former Bethel Park and West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski as a tryout for their mandatory minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex this week.

Kwiatkoski, 30, is a Pittsburgh native. The 6-foot-2, 242-pound linebacker has played seven NFL seasons since joining the Chicago Bears in fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Kwiatkoski played in 57 games and made 22 starts over four seasons with Chicago, playing inside linebacker in the Bears’ 3-4 scheme. He had his most productive season in 2019, when he made eight starts, and recorded career highs with 76 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks.
He parlayed that season into a three-year, $21 million free agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. In Vegas, Kwiatkoski started 12 games in 2020, recording 81 tackles, three for a loss and one sack.

In 2021, injuries limited him to eight games and he finished the season on the injured reserve list. The Raiders released Kwiatkoski last spring, and he caught on with the Atlanta Falcons, where he played 12 games, exclusively on special teams, and made seven tackles.

The Steelers have limited depth at inside linebacker, with 2022 seventh-round pick Mark Robinson and veteran special teamer Tanner Muse currently slotted as the second string behind projected starters Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts.

In addition to Kwiatkoski, Steelers also brought in former Carolina Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. on a tryout.

Before his pro career, Kwiatkoski played 48 games and made 37 starts over five seasons for West Virginia from 2011-15. He is the second WVU and WPIAL alum at Steelers minicamp, joining safety Kenny Robinson (Imani). Long snapper Christian Kuntz (Duquesne, Chartiers Valley) and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State, North Allegheny) are other local players on the Steelers’ offseason roster.