After over three months on the open market, Larry Ogunjobi has found his next NFL home. The former Bengals defensive lineman is staying in the AFC North as he has signed a one-year deal with the Steelers, the team announced.
Ogunjobi had reportedly agreed to a three-year, $40.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears back in March, but it fell apart after the defensive tackle failed a physical. He injured his foot in the playoffs against the Las Vegas Raiders this past season, and underwent surgery for the issue. Ogunjobi also reportedly recently visited with the New York Jets.
Ogunjobi put together a career year in his lone season with the Bengals, as he recorded 49 combined tackles, 16 QB hits and seven sacks in 16 games played. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte product was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent his first four NFL seasons with Cleveland, recording 180 combined tackles and 14.5 sacks in 60 games played.
Without Tuitt last year, the Steelers statistically had the worst run defense in the NFL. Pittsburgh drafted DeMarvin Leal out of Texas A&M and also have Chris Wormley rostered, but Ogunjobi will undoubtedly be an upgrade for this defensive line.
The Steelers have made several changes on defensive side of the ball this offseason. They signed linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback Levi Wallace to team-friendly deals in free agency. In the draft, Pittsburgh added youth to its defensive line in the form of Leal, a versatile player who lined up at multiple positions at Texas A&M. The Steelers also brought back cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon after he led the Steelers in interceptions last season.
Pittsburgh also extended the contract of Minkah Fitzpatrick, making the two-time All-Pro the league’s highest-paid safety. Fitzpatrick is part of a defensive core that also includes defensive lineman Cam Heyward and outside linebacker T.J. Watt.
“I’m really excited,” Fitzpatrick recently said about the Steelers’ defense. “Obviously, I’m excited about getting Ahkello back. I’m excited about Levi. I’m excited about Myles. We drafted well in the front. I think we have a young but experienced defense. We’ve got older guys who are great at coaching and getting the new guys ready to play. We’re going to need some new faces to step up. I’m very excited about this upcoming season.”