Steelers out of Brown race

Despite being offered more money by the Steelers, linebacker Chad Brown apparently will sign a free agent contract with the New England Patriots instead.

According to a source with the Steelers, Brown has been offered a starting job by the Patriots, who are looking to replace inside linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Bruschi is expected to sit out this season after suffering a stroke.

The Steelers were offering the 35-year-old Brown, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks last month, only a backup position.

In other news Friday, tight end Heath Miller, the team's top draft pick participated in the opening practice of the team's mini-camp.

There had been some question whether either player would participate in any drills after undergoing surgery to repair sports hernias, a condition that caused Miller to slip in last month's draft.

The Steelers' mini-camp will run through this weekend.

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