Steelers sign nose tackle Cam Thomas


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The Steelers landed another defensive player but saw a potentially better one get away today.

They signed former San Diego Chargers nose tackle Cam Thomas to a two-year contract. But after meeting with Buffalo defensive end Alex Carrington for much of the day, he left without agreeing to a contract with them and reportedly is scheduled to next visit the Cleveland Browns.

Thomas, 27, lost his starting nose tackle job in San Diego late last season after starting 11 games for the Chargers in his fourth season. They drafted him in the fifth round from North Carolina in 2010. After winning the job to open the 2013 season, he was benched in favor of Sean Lissemore over the final three games of the seson.

Nicknamed “Baby Zilla,’’ Thomas is listed as 6-3, 330 pounds.

It’s undetermined how the Steelers will use him. Steve McLendon became their starting nose tackle last season after Casey Hampton’s departure. McLendon also can play defensive end.

Carrington was seen as a possible starting defensive end for the Steelers, a natural for the 3-4 defense they play.

The Steelers have lost two defensive ends to free agency, Al Woods (Tennessee) and Ziggy Hood (Jacksonville). A third, Brett Keisel, remains an unrestricted free agent.

In the meantime, Steelers free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is headed for a visit with his fourth team on Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers. He has already made stops in Jacksonville, Tampa and Kansas City.


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