One of the Jacksonville Jaguars' top free agent additions will not be joining the team after all.
Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu agreed to terms with the Jaguars on a two-year deal during last week's tampering period, but the veteran defensive lineman will instead be reversing course and re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he has been for the last four seasons.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero was the first to report Alualu would stay in Pittsburgh instead of taking his talents back to Jacksonville, where he began his career as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The report was then confirmed by a flood of Pittsburgh Steelers defenders taking to social media to celebrate Alualu's decision, a clear sign of the type of veteran defender the Jaguars will now be losing out on.
Alualu, 33, is fresh off a terrific 2020 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a year in which he recorded 38 tackles, five quarterback hits, two sacks, four tackles for loss, and one forced fumble after transitioning to nose tackle in the Steelers' 3-4 defense.
This is the second year in a row the Jaguars have agreed to terms with a veteran free agent defender before the deal ultimately fell apart. The Jaguars attempted to sign cornerback Darqueze Dennard last season and announced they had agreed to terms with the former first-rounder before the two sides eventually saw the deal fall through.
With Alualu no longer on his way to Jacksonville, the Jaguars have a new hole along their defensive line. While Alualu is the oldest player the Jaguars would have signed in Urban Meyer's first NFL season, he is also one of the most consistent and versatile defenders who was set to be on the team.
Now, the Jaguars will have to build without Alualu. This will require major contributions from Dawuane Smoot, Malcom Brown, DaVon Hamilton, Jihad Ward, Roy Robertson-Harris, and Adam Gotsis, a group of players the Jaguars will now have to lean upon even more so than previously expected.