Steelers have deal with kicker Suisham, sign 2nd punter

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The Steelers nailed down another one of their core priorities among free agents when they came to terms with kicker Shaun Suisham, the team announced this afternoon.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available. Suisham joined the Steelers at mid-season after they released long-time kicker Jeff Reed. Suisham made 14 of his 15 field goal tries in the final seven regular season games but missed one from 43 yards in the playoff game against Baltimore and a 52-yarder in the Super Bowl against Green Bay.

The Post-Gazette reported that Suisham and cornerback Ike Taylor, who came to terms on Tuesday, were among four players who were priorities for the Steelers in free agency. The others are tackles Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott, although Colon appeared headed elsewhere.

The Steelers are negotiating with Scott's agent and also have told tackle Flozell Adams they want him back.

Earlier today, the Steelers announced they signed a second punter to their roster and appear to be ready to replace veteran Daniel Sepulveda, who is an unrestricted free agent.

Aaron Bates, who punted for Michigan State, became the 19th rookie free agent to sign a contract with the Steelers this week. He joins Jeremy Kapinos, who punted for the Steelers last season after an injury to Sepulveda, on their roster heading to training camp Thursday.

Sepulveda, a fourth-round draft choice in 2007, missed the final four games of the regular season and the entire post-season last year after his second torn ACL during his time with the Steelers and his third since 2006. He missed the entire 2008 season with the same injury. He also had a torn ACL in the spring of his final season at Baylor.

The team also announced the hirings of Nathan LoCascio as the public relations/media manager and Sonia Gysland as an assistant athletic trainer.

Gysland is only the second full-time female athletic trainer in the NFL, after replacing Ariko Iso, who is now the head athletic trainer at Oregon State University.


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