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Steelers sign quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to three-year deal

Gradkowski has spent the last two years in Cincinnati, and now returns to the place he played high school ball.

Jared Wickerham

Last off-season it took the Steelers almost a month to bring in Leonard Pope as their first free agent acquisition. In 2013, the Steelers made it less than 24 hours before bringing in a backup quarterback.

Self-proclaimed "life-long Steelers fan" Bruce Gradkowski signed a three-year deal to be Big Ben's new backup today. Perchance the Steelers have found the next Charlie Batch with another Pittsburgh native.

Many of us will remember Gradkowski from his best career game, which came against the Steelers in the 2009 loss that was the final straw that broke the Steelers once-promising season. Gradkowski found some success starting in Oakland in 2009 and 2010, but is a career backup who hasn't seen much playing time in recent years.

Gradkowski, a Pittsburgh native who attended Seton-La Salle Catholic High School has spent the last two years in Cincinnati where he only saw action in 5 games playing behind Andy Dalton. Gradkowski has less than 200 yards passing in the last two years and a 45% completion percentage in that time.

Gradkowski is a solid backup, and at only 30 years old, should be able to hold down the primary backup position to Big Ben for the foreseeable future. This won't be a huge upgrade for Pittsburgh, but it fits the theme of offseason visits so far this year.

Welcome to the Steelers, Mr. Gradkowski!