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Steelers to sign DE Shawn Lemon

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The former Calgary Stampeders pass rusher reportedly signed Monday with the Steelers.

Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Update: The Steelers signed DE Shawn Lemon after he was released from his CFL contract. According to the Tribune-Review, Calgary Stampeders general manager (and Pittsburgh native) John Hufnagel said, "Shawn has an agreement in place with an NFL club and we are granting him his release in order to allow him to sign a contract immediately rather than waiting until February."

Rather than rebuilding their defense through free agency, re-signing current players or the NFL Draft, the Steelers started off by looking north to the CFL for talent.  Shawn Lemon, a member of the Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders, will sign with the Steelers, according to Scott Mitchell of the Calgary Sun, as well as Sports Illustrated.

Lemon racked up 13 sacks and forced a CFL-record eight fumbles in 2014 for the Stampeders.

This isn't Lemon's first tour stateside, as the Maryland native was a standout for the Akron Zips, starting for three seasons and earning all-conference honors.

Listed at six-foot-two and 250 pounds, Lemon almost certainly will line up as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive end. As Neal Coolong pointed out last week, Lemon is an explosive player who possesses the athleticism for a potentially successful position switch.

Just 26, Lemon is still a young player with room to grow.  Although he bounced around the Arena League and the CFL, playing for a total of six teams in his short career, Mitchell reported that as many as 14 teams were interested in Lemon's services, indicating his game tape convinced them he was worth a shot.

With Jarvis Jones currently the only outside linebacker under contract, the Steelers needed to make a move to bring depth to the position, and Lemon seems to fit the bill.

Unfortunately, fans will have to wait for Lemon to be formally introduced, as CFL players are unable to officially sign with NFL teams until Feb. 10.