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Steelers signing ex-Pro Bowl defender

Mike Tomlin with a headset on

Aug 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin watches the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have found their replacement for longtime starting safety Terrell Edmunds.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Thursday that the Steelers are closing in on a deal with Keanu Neal. The former first-round pick Neal became a free agent after spending last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Neal, a seven-year NFL veteran with three different teams, began his career as a strong safety and made a Pro Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons in 2017. He transitioned into other roles, including free safety and weakside linebacker, before becoming a strong safety again last season with the Buccaneers.

Still only 27, Neal will help the Steelers recoup some of the production of Edmunds, who left for a top NFC team after spending the last five years as Pittsburgh’s starting SS. Neal has good instincts and a physical style of play.

After finishing just 19th in passing yards allowed per game last season, the Steelers have a new-look secondary. Neal joins this multi-time Pro Bowl cornerback as the notable additions.


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