The Steelers are expected to sign former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Rashaad Coward, he confirmed via social media on Monday.
Coward, 26, is a 6-foot-5, 319-pound lineman that spent the last four seasons with the Chicago Bears after joining them as an unrestricted free agent out of Old Dominion in 2017.
Coward played defensive line as an NFL rookie, but moved to the offensive line in 2018, opening the entire season on the practice squad. In 2019, he filled in and started 10 games at right guard after Kyle Long suffered a season-ending injury. Last season, Coward played in all 16 games for Chicago and made five starts at left guard.
He was a restricted free agent after the 2020 season, but the Bears did not offer him a tender. The length and terms of the contract have not been released. The news was first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The Steelers lost Matt Feiler, their starting left guard in 2020, to free agency, and while second-year pro Kevin Dotson is expected to fill that spot after showing promise as a rookie in 2020, the addition of Coward will provide depth at both guard spots.
He’s the third external addition to the offensive line for the Steelers this season, joining former Bengals center/guard B.J. Finney and ex-Buccaneers guard/tackle Joe Haeg.
In addition to Feiler, the Steelers lost starting center Maurkice Pouncey to retirement and are expected to lose starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva to free agency, though he remains on the market.