NFL

Steelers steal a star defender from the Bengals

The Pittsburgh Steelers have beefed up their defensive line for the 2022 season by signing Larry Ogunjobi to a one-year deal this afternoon

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals‘ rivalry is one of the greatest in NFL history. These two AFC North teams always seem to deliver when they play each other on the field, and it has led to some of the best moments in the league’s history.

Even though no football is being played right now, the rivalry is still going strong. Pittsburgh dealt their AFC North rivals a blow this afternoon when they managed to snatch Larry Ogunjobi away from them in free agency. Ogunjobi signed a one-year deal to join the “Steel Curtain,” and he figures to slot into a starting role on the Steelers’ defensive line.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is looking quite dangerous with the addition of Larry Ogunjobi

Through the first five years of his career, Ogunjobi has quietly turned himself into a solid interior lineman who excels at rushing the passer. Ogunjobi latched on with the Bengals last season after spending his first four with the Cleveland Browns, and he ended up having the best season of his career for them. He had 49 tackles and seven sacks on the year, showcasing his skills against both the run and pass.

Ogunjobi was originally set to sign with the Chicago Bears earlier this offseason, but a failed physical ended up being the demise of that deal. That is something that Pittsburgh will need to keep an eye on, but assuming Ogunjobi is good to go healthwise, this deal makes a lot of sense.

Cameron Heyward is still one of the best defensive linemen in the game, but he didn’t have much help alongside him heading into 2022. Chris Wormley played at defensive tackle last season, but he will probably move over to defensive end to accommodate Ogunjobi. Ogunjobi’s versatility on the line will be a huge asset for the Steelers, and his addition fills one of their last holes on defense.

Pittsburgh’s linebacker corps of T.J. Watt, Devin Bush, and Myles Jack is one of the best in the league and should figure to help the defensive line no matter the situation. Pittsburgh could definitely still use some help at cornerback, but their starting safety duo of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds should help keep things in control in the secondary.

Losing Ogunjobi to a division rival hurts, but the Bengals are in a good spot without him. Ogunjobi ended up missing most of the postseason after getting injured in Cincy’s wild-card game against the Las Vegas Raiders, but B.J. Hill did a good job of holding down the fort in his absence. D.J. Reader mans the other defensive tackle spot, so Cincinnati decided to move on without Ogunjobi.

The Steelers certainly needed a versatile d-lineman to help fill out their roster, and Ogunjobi fits that bill. The Bengals may have made the Super Bowl last season, but the Steelers are intent on proving that they can still go toe-to-toe with their divisional foe. While it may not be the biggest move ever, the rivalry between these two squads is still alive, and it should lead to some great football this upcoming season.


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