- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed backup offensive tackle Trai Essex to a two-year contract, guaranteeing that four of the team’s free agent offensive linemen will return.

The Steelers already had signed left guard Chris Kemoeatu to a five-year contract and starting tackles Willie Colon and Max Starks to one-year contracts.

Essex is entering his fifth season. He can play tackle and guard and has started four times in 33 career regular-season games. He visited the Tennessee Titans last week before re-signing with the Steelers.

Pittsburgh also released guard Kendall Simmons on Tuesday and did not attempt to re-sign tackle Marvel Smith.

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