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Steelers Reported to Have Offered Contract to Russell Okung

March 14, 2016
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Steelers Reported to Have Offered Contract to Russell Okung

The Steelers hosting offensive tackles on visits seems more than posturing. The team offered former Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung a contract Sunday during his visit to Pittsburgh, according to a source.

On the tackle front, the team is also hosting Denver’s Ryan Harris and San Diego’s Chris Hairston, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The team is readying contingency plans if they don’t re-sign Kelvin Beachum, who visited the New York Jets this week.

Okung, who has visits lined up with the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, apparently was enamored with Pittsburgh’s hardware during his visit.

Okung is representing himself in negotiations after playing six years with 72 starts in Seattle, which selected Okung sixth overall in the 2010 draft. Okung made the Pro Bowl in 2012. He’s battled injuries during parts of his career.

One allure of a free agent signing with Pittsburgh — offensive line coach Mike Munchak is known as one of the league’s best. The Steelers remained a top-10 line last season despite season-ending injuries to Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey and Beachum, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Week 7.

The Steelers offered Beachum a contract over the summer but both sides couldn’t agree. Now, his return to Pittsburgh is questionable at best.

The Steelers also have 6-foot-9 Alejandro Villanueva, who acquitted himself well in 11 starts last season, and veteran Mike Adams, who missed last year with a back injury. Signing Okung or somebody else creates more depth for Pittsburgh, and if the new guy starts, Villanueva would have more time to develop behind the scenes, as last year was his first as a full-time tackle.

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