PITTSBURGH -- After initially agreeing to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu is re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a source confirmed to ESPN on Saturday.
A week and a half ago, Alualu, 33, agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Jaguars, the organization that selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. However, Alualu changed his mind during a delay in his trip to Jacksonville to sign the contract, a source confirmed to ESPN. Alualu had tested positive for COVID-19, sidelining him for 10 days, and he changed his mind about leaving Pittsburgh, according to a league source.
Alualu was swayed to stay in Pittsburgh by teammate Cam Heyward and other defensive line members, who told him how badly they wanted him to stay, a source told ESPN. The Steelers didn't have to re-recruit Alualu to convince the nose tackle to stay. Instead, he accepted the team's original offer, which was slightly less than the one Jacksonville offered, a source told ESPN.
Alualu has been with the Steelers since 2017, when he signed a two-year, $6 million deal in free agency.
Alualu was a mainstay in the Steelers' run defense last season, taking over the starting nose tackle job. He appeared in 15 games, playing 44% of defensive snaps. He had 38 tackles, including four for a loss, and two sacks last season.
Without Alualu, the Steelers lacked a consistent veteran presence at the position, and he shores up a major hole that was left in his short departure. The Steelers still have to replace four defensive starters -- linebacker Bud Dupree, inside linebacker Vince Williams, defensive back Mike Hilton and cornerback Steve Nelson.
The terms of Alualu's deal were not disclosed, but the Steelers recently made moves to free up some salary-cap space, including the release of starting cornerback Steven Nelson, which created $8.25 million in cap space.
NFL Network was first to report Alualu's decision.