The Steelers aren’t under any great time pressure to wrap up deals with their exclusive rights free agents because those players are barred from moving to a new team unless the Steelers opt not to offer them contracts.
There’s also no reason not to take care of deals before moving on to more pressing business, a view the Steelers used when they re-signed kicker Chris Boswell earlier this month and one they employed again with linebacker Anthony Chickillo. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the team has signed Chickillo to a new one-year deal.
Chickillo was a sixth-round pick in 2015 and spent some time on the team’s practice squad before making his regular season debut in October. He played seven games as a rookie and then appeared in 15 games while making seven starts in 2016.
Chickillo had 29 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles while seeing time on both defense and special teams and should be in the mix in both areas again next season.