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Steelers Sign Texas Safety P.J. Locke III

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The Steelers signed undrafted free agent safety P.J. Locke III on Monday, making 11 UDFA players to sign with the team since the close of the 2019 NFL Draft over the weekend.

Locke, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound safety from the University of Texas, played in 47 games and made 31 starts for the Longhorns over the last four seasons.

“God is good,” Locke said in a video on his Twitter account. “It’s been the longest three days of my life. I just want to thank the Steelers for welcoming me into this organization and believing in me.”

The Beaumont, Texas native finished his senior season third on the team with 77 tackles and had 5.5 tackles for loss, one-half sack, two forced fumbles, three passes defended and an interception in Texas’ Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia. Locke was named an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection after his senior year.

The Steelers did not select a safety in the draft and picked just one defensive back: Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne in the third round.

Aliquippa and West Virginia alum Dravon Askew-Henry was also signed as an undrafted safety. They’ll join Marcus Allen, Marcellis Branch, Jordan Dangerfield, Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds and Jack Tocho on the Steelers’ roster in 2019.

Davis and Edmunds are the returning starters while Dangerfield played in all 16 games and made one start. Allen played in two games after a hamstring injury limited him throughout the offseason.

Branch and Tocho are new to the team. Branch was signed to a reserve/futures contract in January and is a Robert Morris alum. He spent training camp in 2018 with Atlanta. Tocho was signed from the roster of the Birmingham Iron after the AAF folded.

This story has been updated.

Steelers News & Transactions

Steelers Sign DE Calvin Taylor to Practice Squad, Release CB Trajan Bandy

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The Steelers have signed defensive end Calvin Taylor to their practice squad and released defensive back Trajan Bandy, the team announced on Friday.

Taylor, a 6-foot-7 rookie from Kentucky, spent the entire offseason with the Steelers after singing with the team an an undrafted free agent in April, but was released after training camp.

He’ll add practice depth for the Steelers at defensive end to go along with second-year practice squad player Henry Mondeaux.

The Steelers have just six active defensive linemen: nose tackles Tyson Alualu and Carlos Davis, defensive tackles Cameron Heyward and Chris Wormley and defensive ends Isaiah Buggs and Stephon Tuitt.

Bandy, a rookie free agent out of Miami, was a player that many had high hopes for after leaving the Hurricanes a year early to enter the NFL, but he could not find a spot on the Steelers’ 53-man roster, losing out to James Pierre for the final cornerback spot. Bandy had been the only cornerback on the Steelers’ practice squad.

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Steelers News & Transactions

Steelers Sign former Michigan State WR Cody White to Practice Squad

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The Steelers have signed wide receiver Cody White to their practice squad, the team announced on Thursday.

White worked out for the team in a try out on Tuesday. He had also tried out with the Steelers once before in August.

A 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver from Novi, Michigan, White left Michigan State after his junior season to pursue an NFL career. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, but was waived with a non-football injury in July.

He was then signed by the New York Giants, but waived during training camp. That’s when he worked out for the Steelers the first time. He then signed with the Denver Broncos on Aug. 23, but was waived at the outset of training camp on Sept. 5.

In three seasons at Michigan State, White caught 143 passes for 1,967 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a junior in 2019, he had 66 catches for 922 yards and six scores to lead the Spartans in all three categories.

White will fill the Steelers’ practice squad after nose tackle Daniel McCullers elected to terminate his contract and join the Chicago Bears earlier this week.

He’ll help a wide receiver corps that has been reduced in practice by nagging injuries to Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster that has caused both players to miss Wednesday’s practice in consecutive weeks.

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Steelers News & Transactions

Former Steelers NT Dan McCullers Signs with Chicago Bears

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Former Steelers defensive tackle Daniel McCullers has found new employment, agreeing on Thursday to a contract with the Chicago Bears, according to multiple reports.

McCullers’ agreement with the Bears was first reported by Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review.

McCullers, 28, terminated his practice squad contract with the Steelers earlier in the week. He was the Steelers’ sixth-round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and had spent the previous six seasons with the team, playing in 73 and making three starts while amassing 41 career tackles, four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

The 6-foot-7, 352-pound nose tackle was a somewhat surprising cut for the Steelers after training camp this season, losing his spot on the 53-man roster to rookie Carlos Davis.

The Bears added McCullers after defensive tackle John Jenkins suffered a thumb injury. The Steelers are not scheduled to play the Bears this season.

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