Pittsburgh is replacing one former first-round pick with another.
The Steelers have agreed to terms with veteran safety Keanu Neal on a two-year deal, Neal's agent, David Canter, announced via Twitter Thursday.
Neal entered the league as a top selection of the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, filling a key role in the Falcons' run to Super Bowl LI as a rookie. In his second season, he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, quickly establishing himself as a playmaking safety in Dan Quinn's defense.
That was the high mark for Neal, who dealt with multiple injuries in the following two seasons, returning to play 14 games in 2020 before his time with the Falcons came to a close. Neal reunited with Quinn in Dallas in 2021, but lasted just one season before moving to Tampa, where he joined the Buccaneers and appeared in 17 games (eight starts) last season.
Once seen as a young star with a bright future, Neal's standing has diminished in recent years. He'll find a new opportunity in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers said goodbye to former first-rounder Terrell Edmunds, who signed with the Eagles, this offseason.
Former Falcons teammate Damontae Kazee is slated to start at strong safety for the Steelers alongside free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, meaning Neal will have to fight for playing time in a Pittsburgh defense that was notoriously opportunistic in 2022. If anything, Neal adds depth to the Steelers' defense. He'll hope to bring even more in his eighth professional season.