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Steelers Release Pittsburgh Native Linebacker



Steelers LB Nick Kwiatkoski
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski at training camp, Aug. 4, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers have released Pittsburgh native and former West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, the team announced on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh signed Kwiatkoski after a successful tryout during the team’s mandatory minicamp across three days. They surprisingly let Tanner Muse go yesterday, leaving Kwiatkoski on the roster, but in the end, they only kept four inside linebackers. Kwon Alexander, Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, and Mark Robinson will comprise the team’s final inside linebacker corps. However, Kwiatkoski and Muse can return to the team’s practice squad.

Kwiatkoski played a tremendous first game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but suffered a right shoulder injury that would sideline him for the team’s home game against the Buffalo Bills. That injury knocked him out long enough to likely dent his roster chances just as a push seemed to be gaining steam.

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

Before his pro career, Kwiatkoski played 48 games and made 37 starts over five seasons for West Virginia from 2011-15. He joined several WPIAL alums on the team’s training camp roster.