PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran defensive end Larry Ogunjobi to a one-year deal on Tuesday, shoring up a position of need following Stephon Tuitt's retirement earlier this month.
The 28-year-old Ogunjobi spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals and had planned to sign a three-year contract with Chicago in March before he failed a physical, nullifying the deal.
Ogunjobi injured his right foot during the Bengals’ wild-card victory over the Las Vegas Raiders and was lost for the remainder of the playoffs. The injury required surgery, and the lack of progress during his rehab led to the failed physical.
The Steelers are banking on Ogunjobi being good to go as they try to shore up a defensive line that finished dead last in the NFL against the run in 2022. Ogunjobi was productive last year for Cincinnati, posting career highs in sacks (7) and tackles for loss (12).
Pittsburgh was hoping Tuitt would return after he sat out all of 2021 following the death of his younger brother last June, combined with a knee injury. The Steelers did little during the offseason to address the defensive line, re-signing tackle Montravius Adams and taking Demarvin Leal in the third round of the draft.
Ogunjobi gives Pittsburgh veteran depth even if he has a spotty history with the Steelers. Playing for Cleveland in 2019, Ogunjobi blindsided Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph during a scuffle that included Browns defensive end Myles Garrett tearing off Rudolph's helmet and then swinging it at him. Ogunjobi was suspended for one game for his role in the melee, though a fine was later rescinded.