Steelers re-sign veteran safety Nat Berhe, place undrafted rookie standout Ola Adeniyi on IR
Nat Berhe had used his Twitter account to repeatedly let everyone know his time off the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster would not be long. The team made it official Monday morning.
A veteran safety whom the Steelers had signed as an unrestricted free agent in the spring, Berhe was re-signed less than 48 hours after he was let go as part of the preseason’s final cutdown Saturday.
The way the Steelers made room was something of a surprise – undrafted rookie linebacker Ola Adeniyi was placed on injured reserve. Adeniyi, who played in college at Toledo, had three sacks in four preseason games, including one in the preseason finale Thursday. But he left that game because of a hamstring injury.
The move leaves the Steelers with only three outside linebackers on the roster (starters Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt, and backup Anthony Chickillo) a year after they kept five at the position for most of the season. That could be an indication that undrafted rookie Matthew Thomas will – purportedly an inside linebacker – could see some snaps from the edge. Or it perhaps foretells of another roster move.
Berhe’s addition gives the Steelers six safeties on their roster, which potentially facilitates more packages with extra defensive backs on the field.
Berhe spent his first four NFL seasons as property of the New York Giants, making two starts among the 36 games he played. He’s expected to be a core special teams player for the Steelers.
The Steelers have a “bonus day” of practice Monday in advance of their regular-season opener Sunday at Cleveland.
It has been widely speculated that Monday would be the day Le’Veon Bell arrives to sign his franchise-tag tender, but there are no indications he’s been at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex team headquarters yet.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.