The Steelers had not offered restricted free agent Stevenson Sylvester a tender offer in RFA.
Instead, they signed him as an unrestricted free agent.
ILB Stevenson Sylvester to sign a 1-year deal. Started offseason as an RFA; became a UFA after not getting a tender.— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) April 3, 2013
The team inked the fourth year linebacker to a contract today, presumably for less than the $1.3 million original round tender they could have in March.
Sylvester has been injury-plagued in his time with the team, but was thought of as a possible replacement for James Farrior, who was released prior to the 2012 season. Sylvester suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the team's early part of the schedule. He contributed almost entirely on special teams in 2012.
Perhaps the move is some kind of indication as to the status of second-year LB Sean Spence, who suffered a major knee injury in the team's final preseason game in 2012. Lawrence Timmons and recently signed incumbent Larry Foote are expected to be the team's starters at linebacker in 2013.