The Steelers are signing edge rusher Melvin Ingram, his agent confirmed on social media Monday.
Ingram is signing a one-year deal, according to NFL Network.
The 32-year-old Ingram fills a major hole in the Steelers’ defense left by the free-agency departure of Bud Dupree to the Tennessee Titans.
“I met with Coach [Mike] Tomlin,” Ingram told NFL reporter Josina Anderson. “You can tell he’s very involved and a players’ coach. That’s what stood out to me. He wants to win, and that is what I am on.
“My role is my role. He just told me to come in and be me. Everyone knows how I play.” Ingram, who had interest from other NFL teams and visited the Steelers on Monday, will strive for the spot opposite T.J. Watt that is now occupied by second-year outside linebacker Alex Highsmith.
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With Dupree’s exit, the depth behind Watt and Highsmith was perilously thin.
NFL journeyman Cassius Marsh and sixth-round draft pick Quincy Roche were anticipated to be the primary backups.
Ingram, a 2012 first-round pick, had spent his nine-year career with the Chargers, racking up 49 sacks — fourth in franchise history — en route to three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2017 to 2019.
He played in just seven matches last season because of a nagging knee injury that landed him on injured reserve twice, and he failed to record a sack for the first time in his career.
The Chargers opted not to re-sign him after his four-year, $64 million deal expired following the 2020 campaign.
Ingram may not be as productive as he was in previous years, but he’s in a defense that will give him tons of easy openings along the defensive line, and a secondary that will force opposing quarterbacks to think twice before throwing. That alone could provide Ingram with a career resurgence, and the Steelers with the cog they need to keep that line firmly established as the NFL’s best.
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