In lieu of selecting their own fourth round picks, and keeping them on the roster, the Steelers signed free agent Cody Wallace Sunday, a former 2008 fourth round pick of the San Francisco 49ers. To make room, they released John Malecki, a back-up center who was on the roster for roughly 24 hours.
Most likely, position flexibility.
Despite the fact Wallace has appeared in nine career games - eight of which came last year when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - he's able to play all three interior offensive line positions, which is something the Steelers needed.
Wallace had layovers with the Jets, Lions and Texans as well, before ending up with the Buccaneers. The Steelers are the fifth team he's been with in six NFL seasons. He bounced around from practice squad to practice squad, ending up in Tampa Bay under new coach Greg Schiano.
Wallace overcame the deaths of both of his parents at a young age - his father died in prison from complications from alcoholism, and his mother died of a condition "doctors couldn't explain" according to the San Francisco Gate in an article written after he was selected in the 2008 NFL Draft.
It would seem the decision to cut Malecki and bring Wallace onto the active roster was done to solidify an offensive line lacking somewhat in depth. Outside of the five starters, Kelvin Beachum and Guy Whimper are (for now) the back-up tackles and Wallace appears to be the lone interior back-up - although Beachum can be seen as a replacement inside as well.
The Steelers elected not to re-sign three-position reserve Doug Legursky this offseason. He signed with the Bills, and subsequently, suffered a knee injury that might keep him on the sideline for a bit. He will not need surgery, however, and has not been placed on injured reserve.
It would seem Wallace is the kind of character guy the Steelers have sought out this offseason. He's experienced at three positions, and has been in the league for five seasons. While Malecki is the local product who's come up with the team, it seems Wallace's versatility made him more desirable.
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