It appears in a battle of old AFC Central foes, the Jaguars have lost to the Steelers again with defensive lineman Tyson Alualu opting to remain in Pittsburgh.
According to a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, defensive lineman Tyson Alualu will not be making his return to Jacksonville after all, opting to remain with the Steelers for two more years. The change of heart comes 10 days after the Jaguars announced it agreed to terms with the defensive lineman.
Crazy backstory: Tyson Alualu was going to sign with the #Jaguars, but couldn’t make the trip after testing positive for COVID, per sources. He’d built his dream home in Pittsburgh, has kids in school, and with 10 days to think, he decided to stay. https://t.co/oeVQv9W2ie— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 27, 2021
Per Pelissero, there was a delay in signing Alualu to his contract because the 33-year-old received a positive COVID-19 test result, giving him the past 10 days to think things over regarding where he wants his family to live. Alualu has already built his “dream home” in Pittsburgh, and his children currently attend school there.
The veteran defensive lineman has spent the past four years with the Steelers, becoming one of the centerpieces of the team’s defensive line over the past two seasons. He was originally drafted 10th overall by the Jaguars in 2010, spending the first seven years of his career in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars spent a lot of its assets in free agency on rebuilding its defensive line, trading for and signing former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Malcom Brown, while also signing multiple players such as Roy Roberts-Harris, Jihad Ward and originally agreeing to terms with Alualu.
This is the second time in two years that the Jaguars have had players back out of deals, though both with different circumstances.
Last offseason, the team originally agreed to terms with former Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard on a three-year deal. That deal, ultimately, didn’t come to pass. Dennard would sign a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons shortly afterward.
While Alualu’s change of heart will hurt the team in the interim, there are other avenues of finding his replacement whether via free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft.