The Pittsburgh Steelers may have made a number of questionable moves in the early stages of free agency by re-signing players like Jordan Berry and Daniel McCullers and extending the contract of Eli Rogers, but it would appear that their surprising hurry to re-sign Anthony Chickillo might actually have been motivated by external forces.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the New England Patriots were also in the hunt for the backup edge rusher, reportedly making a similar offer to that of the Steelers.
Patriots were in on Anthony Chickillo at similar deal to what he just signed with Pittsburgh, two years for $8 million. Chickillo said it was tempting but he wanted to win with Steelers. “It’s funny everybody’s counting us out,” Chickillo said. “You still have to play.”— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 13, 2019
While there are sure to be many fans who had wished he had opted for the Patriots offer instead, for others, this will magically be a sign that Chickillo must be better than advertised if Bill Belichick wanted him.
Regardless of his merits, it is clear that Pittsburgh has retained a player who wants to be here and is suitably motivated to prove the doubters wrong in 2019.
Steeler Nation !— Anthony Chickillo (@Chickillo56) March 13, 2019
Let’s get this ring !— Anthony Chickillo (@Chickillo56) March 13, 2019
And a player whose teammates are happy to see him return.
In four seasons with the Steelers since arriving as a sixth-round draft pick in 2015, Chickillo has recorded 78 tackles and seven sacks, starting just nine of the 54 games he has appeared in.