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Cole Holcomb Passes Physical, Steelers Make 3 Signings Official



Steelers LB Cole Holcomb

Cole Holcomb passed his physical and the Pittsburgh Steelers officially announced the signing of the free agent linebacker, along with a handful of other moves made in the first week of free agency on Thursday.

The Steelers officially announced the signings of three unrestricted free agents — Patrick Peterson, Nate Herbig, and Cole Holcomb. The team also signed former Miami Dolphins inside linebacker Elandon Roberts Thursday and re-signed defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and safety Damontae Kazee. Those moves have not officially been announced.

Holcomb’s deal, which was first reported on Wednesday, was contingent on him passing a physical after a December surgery. He did so in Pittsburgh on Thursday, paving way for him to put pen to paper to a three-year contract, reportedly worth $18 million.

This free-agent period has looked a little different than others for the Steelers, who are traversing through their first off-season without longtime general manager Kevin Colbert. His successor, Omar Khan, wasted no time in replacing cornerback Cam Sutton, who chose to depart for a three-year contract in Detroit.

Still, Peterson’s signing came as a surprise to many, including the high-profile veteran cornerback himself. The Steelers don’t typically make such moves, but the NFL’s active interceptions leader was an attractive add — both in terms of play and leadership. Peterson had five picks in 2022, his highest total since he had a career-high seven a decade earlier.

Aside from Herbig, a big-bodied guard who might push Kevin Dotson for a starting job this fall, the front office has put a focus on improving the defense.

The team got Holcomb, who made 48 starts in four years in Washington, on Wednesday after reportedly being in on Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who opted to stay put with a star on his helmet. Holcomb will make $18 million over three seasons.

He was thought to join Myles Jack — one of last year’s additions — in the middle of the Pittsburgh defense, but the Steelers released Jack Thursday after agreeing to a contract with Roberts. Jack led the defense in total tackles in 2022. Roberts’ deal is for two years.

By filling some needs early, Pittsburgh should have more flexibility with what direction it goes in the draft, with three picks in the top 50.

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