NFL Notebook: Steelers looking to acquire depth
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Terribly thin at defensive end, the Steelers re-signed another of their veteran backups yesterday and also entertained five more college prospects, including two defensive linemen.
Nick Eason, who signed a one-year contract as an unrestricted free agent last year from the Cleveland Browns, signed up for two years this time. He became an unrestricted free agent Feb. 29 from the Steelers.
His signing means the club no longer has an active interest in acquiring veteran defensive lineman Anthony McFarland, who paid them a visit this week after he was released by the Indianapolis Colts. He left without signing a contract.
Eason (6-3, 305) made one start at left end for injured Aaron Smith last season and played in 16 games.
He will enter his sixth season in the NFL. In February, the Steelers re-signed veteran backup defensive end Travis Kirschke, who would have become a free agent Feb. 29.
The five college prospects who paid visits to the Steelers training complex yesterday were Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Chrilus, Texas A&M defensive lineman Red Bryant, Kansas fullback Brandon McAnderson, Michigan State running back Jehuu Caulcrick and Hampton defensive end Kendall Langford.
Each NFL team can have as many as 30 draft prospects visit their site before the draft.
Linebacker Clark Haggans signed a one-year contract with Arizona. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Haggans, an unrestricted free agent, joined the Cardinals after eight seasons with the Steelers, who drafted him in 2000 out of Colorado State. He finished the 2007 season with 71 tackles (47 solos), 3 sacks, and a fumble recovery.
Seattle signed former Pro Bowl kicker Olindo Mare to replace departed free agent Josh Brown. Mare spent 10 years with Miami and kicked last season for the New Orleans Saints and struggled, making 10 of 17 field-goal attempts.
Carolina signed guard Toniu Fonoti, giving him another chance in the NFL after his weight soared to nearly 400 pounds. The former second-round pick was out of the league last year after being released by Atlanta before training camp.
Houston signed free-agent safety Nick Ferguson who spent the past five seasons in Denver, where he started seven games last season and had 55 tackles. His best season came in 2005 when he had 79 tackles and five interceptions.
Benji Olson announced his retirement after 10 years with only three interior linemen playing more games in that stretch.
First Published March 28, 2008 12:00 am