Steelers Sign LB Kriewaldt From Lions

And the push to become the Detroit of the east continues.<br> <br> The Steelers on Wednesday signed yet another former Detroit Lions player, adding depth to their linebacking and special teams corps with the addition of Clint Kriewaldt on a three-year contract.

The 6-1, 242-pound Kriewaldt is entering his fifth season in the NFL after spending the past four years with the Detroit Lions. Originally drafted by Detroit in the sixth round in 1999 out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Kriewaldt has excelled on special teams throughout his career, registering 66 special teams tackles over the past four seasons.

Kriewaldt registered a personal-best 31 (15 solo) defensive tackles in 2001, while ranking second on the team with 19 special teams stops. He tied for Detroit's team-lead with 22 special teams tackles in 2000. Last season, Kriewaldt played in 10 games and recorded 11 (six solo) defensive tackles and six special teams tackles.

Kriewaldt will earn 420k bonus, base salaries of 530,000; 630,000; 800,000.

He is the third former Lions player signed by the Steelers in the past year by former Detroit front office man Kevin Colbert, now the Steelers director of football operations. The Steelers signed quarterback Charlie Batch and cornerback Chidi Iowuoma last season.

Kriewaldt serves as a backup plan if restricted free agent Clark Haggans should sign elsewhere.

Haggans visited Houston Tuesday and could receive an offer from the Texans to play outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense.

While it's doubtful Kriewaldt could match Haggans' production - he had 6.5 sacks as a rush end in the dime last season – he would make up for the loss of Haggans as a special teams player.

If Haggans signs elsewhere and the Steelers decline to match the deal, Pittsburgh would receive a fifth-round draft choice in return from the team that signs him. Houston has two fifth round selections in this year's draft.

Dale Lolley

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