Steelers to host former Chargers Pro Bowler Melvin Ingram on free agent visit as they seek pass rush help

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The Steelers added a former Chargers Pro Bowler to bolster depth at a key position this summer, signing longtime guard Trai Turner to replace the departed David DeCastro. Now, they might do it again. Nearly a month after Turner’s arrival, Pittsburgh is preparing to host free agent pass rusher Melvin Ingram, who spent the first nine years of his career with Los Angeles, on a visit this week. That’s according to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, who reported Sunday that the Steelers are seeking help at that spot.

Pittsburgh has added few pass rushers since losing former first-round pick Bud Dupree via free agency this offseason. With training camp around the corner, they recently expressed interest in Justin Houston, the 32-year-old former Chiefs and Colts starter who remains unsigned, per La Canfora. Houston doesn’t currently appear to be a fit, whether for schematic or financial reasons, so now Ingram is scheduled to visit the Steelers, along with potentially several other unsigned veterans.

The Steelers have arguably one of the NFL’s top edge rushers in two-time All-Pro T.J. Watt, who’s had three straight 13-sack seasons and is coming off a career-high 15 sacks. With Dupree gone, however, they’re set to rely on rookie Quincy Roche and reserves like Alex Highsmith and Cassius March to take snaps opposite Watt.

Ingram would represent an immediate upgrade at the outside linebacker spot. The former Chargers first-rounder is 32 and missed nine games in 2020 due to a knee injury, finishing without a single sack for the first time in his NFL career. When healthy, however, he’s long been one of the game’s steadiest pass rushers. A three-time Pro Bowler, he went five straight seasons with at least seven sacks from 2015-2019, twice hitting double digits and playing all 16 games four times during that span.

Other notable pass rushers still on the market include longtime Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, ex-Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin, former Browns and Giants starter Olivier Vernon and former Falcons first-rounder Vic Beasley.


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