Steelers 4th round pick, NT, Alameda Ta’amu is the first of the Steelers 2012 draft class to sign his contract. He inked a 4 yr. deal and will be ready to go once training camp starts. BTW for those that still may not know, this is how you pronounce his name. al-uh-MEE-duh tah-AH-moo
Ta’amu will be in the mix along with Steve McLendon for the starting job at NT this year for John Mitchell’s defensive line in Pittsburgh. There is still a chance that Casey Hampton could be ready to go but more than likely it seems he’ll be on the PUP list to start the season. Either way Ta’amu will see playing time this year in the defensive line rotation, much like Cameron Heyward saw the field to spell fellow DE’s Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood.
Signing draft picks won’t be the ongoing ordeal that it used to be in the past. With the new CBA and Rookie Wage Scale, agents don’t have the leverage they used too. In the coming weeks we could see more draft picks sign quicker than we’re used too and have everything in order to concentrate on their new career.
All players will get a 4 yr. deal except for David DeCastro who will get a 5th yr option that the Steelers can choose to pick up if they like.
Info below via PFT.
The Steelers got the final day of their rookie minicamp off to a good start by announcing their first contract with a member of the 2012 draft class.
Nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu, a fourth-round pick, has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the team. The Steelers traded up to select Ta’amu with the 109th overall pick in the draft.
Ta’amu has been referred to by some as the best nose tackle available in the draft and could have a chance to start right out of the gate. Casey Hampton is coming off another knee surgery thanks to a torn ACL at the end of last season, leaving his status for the 2012 season in some doubt. At 6’3″ and right around 350 pounds, Ta’amu definitely has the size you look for in the position. Steve McClendon is also in the mix at nose tackle for Pittsburgh.
If he applies himself and is able to grasp the position at the professional level there’s no reason to think that he can’t make an immediate impact this year. At the very least he’ll be in the rotation and perhaps take over by mid season. Playing in a 34 defense is not easy, no NFL defense is, but his job is to occupy his blockers and stop the run. He’s a two down player, coming out on passing situations. He’ll have to take his game to a new level to compete with with the top guards and centers in the league but it’s not an insurmountable task. Anything can happen in today’s NFL with players, you just never know who will shine and who won’t, but based on his experience and size, he’s got the tools to be the next defensive anchor in Blitzburgh for years to come.
As long as he can learn the techniques and playbook he’ll be fine contrary to what some so called experts seem to think about his lack of ability to start. Kaboly from the Trib tweeted that we shouldn’t expect much out of him this year. I couldn’t disagree more. You better expect a lot out of him and you better expect him to deliver.
A 4th round pick is hardly a position where you are just taking a chance on a player and hoping he can work out. Nobody loses sleep over a 7th round pick that doesn’t make the final roster cut. The same can be said for an undrafted free agent, but a 4th round draft choice, especially at a position of need, will be counted upon to perform.