The Pittsburgh Steelers had seen several of their free agents leave to new teams prior to the start of the 2021 season, and the one which caused the fans the most angst was the loss of defensive tackle Tyson Alualu.
Alualu had decided to go back to the team who drafted him, the Jacksonville Jaguars, but in a stunning change of events, Alualu has had a change of heart and is returning to the Steelers.
This per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
After initially agreeing to terms with the #Jaguars, veteran DE Tyson Alualu had a change of heart and now is re-signing with the #Steelers on a two-year deal, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 27, 2021
Of all my years writing/rooting for the Steelers, I have never seen a story like this. I have seen players failing a physical and hitting the open market again, but never have I seen a player simply change their minds like this.
For more back story, Pelissero tells how Alualu was supposed to make the trip to Florida to sign with Jacksonville, but after a positive COVID-19 test he was forced to stay in Pittsburgh. The 10 day period where he had to stay and isolate was reportedly what made Alualu realize he didn’t want to uproot his family.
Crazy backstory: Tyson Alualu was going to sign with the #Jaguars, but couldn’t make the trip after testing positive for COVID, per sources. He’d built his dream home in Pittsburgh, has kids in school, and with 10 days to think, he decided to stay. https://t.co/oeVQv9W2ie— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 27, 2021
What a strange story, but great news for the Steelers. Now, with Chris Wormley and Alualu both coming back on two year deals, the Steelers’ defensive front will be as strong as every heading into 2021. This also impacts the team’s approach to the 2021 NFL Draft. No longer should defensive lineman be high on the team’s draft board.
With that said, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they progress through Free Agency and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
As reports continue to surface, it looks as if there were some Steelers teammates who did some heavy recruiting to keep Alualu from returning to the Jaguars.
Tyson Alualu is coming back to the Steelers. He never signed with Jacksonville because he had COVID-19, a source told the Post-Gazette. During this time, some Steelers teammates did some big-time recruiting and kept him in Pittsburgh.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) March 27, 2021