The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially signed former Dallas Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee to a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday.
Kazee, 28, was a fifth-round selection of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played the first four seasons of his career with Atlanta before signing with Dallas as a free agent last offseason.
Kazee made 15 starts for the Cowboys in 2021. He recorded 52 tackles, two interceptions, four passes defended and a lot of forced fumbles.
The addition of Kazee, among others, helped turn around a mediocre Dallas defense into one of the league’s most improved in just one year. Kazee started three seasons in Atlanta, but suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in Week 4 of 2020.
Pittsburgh also re-signed last year’s starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds to a one-year deal this offseason.
While Pittsburgh’s plans for their safety rotation are unclear, Edmunds’ chemistry with returning free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kazee’s versatility should allow the Steelers to be creative defensively in the back end.
According to Pro Football Focus, Kazee has seen 2,393 career snaps at free safety, 336 snaps as an in-the-box safety, and 315 at slot cornerback.
The Kazee and Edmunds signings do provide some explanation as to why the team opted not to add a safety in the 2022 NFL Draft. The news of Kazee’s signing was first reported immediately after the end of the draft on Saturday.