The Steelers agreed to host former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Donald Payne for a visit on Friday, according to the NFL transactions page.
Payne, 26, played 30 games and made five starts with the Jaguars from 2017-19 and has also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Washington and the Miami Dolphins. He was most recently on Miami’s practice squad, but was released on Nov. 23.
In his 30 games, Payne recorded 76 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass defended and one quarterback hit. Most of his playing time in his first two seasons with the Jaguars came on special teams.
Payne (5-foot-11, 217 pounds) was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Baltimore out of Stetson, an FCS school in Florida. He is a Fayetteville, Georgia native.
The Steelers are significantly lacking depth at inside linebacker, with injuries to starter Devin Bush and backups Ulysees Gilbert and Robert Spillane and starter Vince Williams on the COVID-19 list leaving recently acquired Avery Williamson and converted safety Marcus Allen as the only two healthy players at the position.
The Steelers have one other inside linebacker available to them, practice squad member and former XFL player Tegray Scales, who has never played an NFL game.
Even if the Steelers signed Payne before the team’s Sunday night game against the Buffalo Bills, he will not be eligible to participate in games or practices until he completes five days of quarantine and testing.