PITTSBURGH ó The Steelers added depth and experience to their defensive backfield today when they signed 10-year veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
Bryant (5-10, 175), was originally selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round (26th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played five years with the Jaguars (1999-03) and four years with the Detroit Lions (2004-07) before signing with the New England Patriots as a free agent on March 20, 2008. Bryant spent the preseason with New England before being released on Aug. 30.
Bryant has made 109 starts in 110 games played during nine NFL seasons. He has recorded 509 tackles (435 solo), seven interceptions, defended 88 passes and recovered seven fumbles.
Bryant will wear uniform No. 31 for the Steelers.
The Steelers made room on their roster for Bryant by releasing rookie linebacker Donovan Woods. Woods originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent and made the teamís original 53-man roster. He was released on Oct. 25, but re-signed with the teamís active roster on Nov. 8.