Out of the 32 NFL teams Larry Ogunjobi could have possibly signed with, this is probably the last one anybody would guess.
The former Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday, the team announced on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Why would this be a surprise? Well, you may remember a certain game in the 2019 season that ended with Browns defensive end Myles Garrett infamously bashing Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet.
Garrett’s helmet bash, suspension for the remainder of the season and unsubstantiated allegations of Rudolph using a racial slur dominated headlines in the aftermath of the brawl, but Ogunjobi was heavily involved as well. As one member of the Steelers wrestled Garrett to the ground and another punched him, Ogunjobi stepped in by giving Rudolph — who was looking the other way — a hard push to the ground.
You can watch how the whole thing played out here, with Ogunjobi wearing No. 65 for the Browns:
Ogunjobi defended his conduct after the game by saying he was trying to help Garrettbut was ultimately suspended one game for his efforts.
For all the ugliness, Garrett and Rudolph made nice about a year later. Rudolph remains a member of the Steelers as part of a quarterbacks room that also includes free-agent signee Mitch Trubisky and first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett, so you’d imagine Ogunjobi will also be burying the hatchet with him.
Larry Ogunjobi previously had 3-year deal with Bears
Infamous brawls aside, Ogunjobi has built up an impressive résumé as a run-stopper and will be expected to help fill the void left by Stephon Tuitt’s retirement.
The 28-year-old previously had a deal set up with the Chicago Bears for a reported three years and $40.5 million, but that fell through after Ogunjobi failed his physical. He’ll now land with a new team on a lesser deal, but he should enjoy playing alongside All-Pros TJ Watt and Cameron Heyward.
Ogunjobi was part of the Cincinnati Bengals’ AFC champion team last season, but missed much of the playoffs after sustaining a season-ending foot injury in the wild-card round. In the regular season, he has accrued 49 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and a career-high seven sacks.