Steelers sign Ingram
The 2020 campaign started off with so much promise for the Pittsburgh Steelers before they let it slip away. The Steelers opened the season with 11 straight wins, but they ended up losing five of their next six games – including in the wild card round of the playoffs where they hosted division rivals the Cleveland Browns. The Browns knocked off the Steelers at Heinz Field to eliminate them and move on to the next round.
Steelers fans may still have not gotten over the way the season ended for their beloved franchise, but on Monday they received some good news as the team continues to prepare for the 2021 campaign. Pittsburgh hosted free agent veteran defensive end, Melvin Ingram, on Monday, as they looked to fill a void left by Bud Dupree. Dupree had been drafted by the Steelers in the opening round of the 2015 NFL Draft and was a crucial member of Mike Tomlin’s squad, but he opted to sign with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent during the current offseason.
As a result, Pittsburgh were looking for someone with experience to help on the edge and they believe they have found their man in Ingram. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Steelers locked down Ingram to a one-year deal following his visit on Monday afternoon. The 32-year-old had garnered interest from several teams during the offseason, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.
Ingram was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and has spent his entire nine-year career playing with the franchise. Ingram is just one sack shy of 50 for his career and he will be looking to reach the milestone early in the season with the Steelers.
However, Pittsburgh will need to be cautious with the veteran, as he only managed to feature in seven games last season with the Chargers due to injuries. On September 26th last season, he was put on injured reserve with a knee problem before being re-activated on October 24th. Unfortunately for Ingram and the Chargers though, he was placed back on injured reserve on November 27th with another knee issue and was unable to return to the line-up.
Prior to last season’s injury-plagued campaign though, Ingram had been named to the Pro Bowl for three consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2019 and was considered one of the best defensive ends in the entire NFL. He still has yet to win a Super Bowl though and will be hoping to accomplish the feat with his new team.
Ingram is the second former Chargers Pro Bowler that the Steelers have signed this offseason, acquiring the services of guard Trai Turner earlier in June. Turner was signed to replace free agent David DeCastro who was released by Pittsburgh on June 24th after he had been with the franchise since 2012.
The Steelers may have one of the best pass-rushing defenses in the league now with two-time All-Pro T.J. Watt still around and coming off an incredible career-high 15-sack season.