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Steelers agree to terms with Hartwig, re-sign free agents

PITTSBURGH -- Restricted free agent offensive linemen Chris Kemoeatu and Trai Essex accepted their one-year tender offers on Tuesday and will stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers. NFL Network's Adam Schefter also reports that free-agent center Justin Hartwig agreed to a two-year contract worth approximately $4 million and he will receive $975,000 upon signing.

Kemoeatu, a fifth-round draft pick in 2005, will make $1,417,000. Essex, picked a round ahead of Kemoeatu in that draft, accepted his offer of $927,000.

Both players were eligible to weigh offers from other teams until mid-April, with the Steelers owning the right to match their offers.

Kemoeatu has played in 18 career games at guard and on special teams and made two starts at right guard in 2006. Essex has played in 24 games at tackle and guard and started at left tackle for the injured Marvel Smith during the Steelers' wild-card playoff loss to Jacksonville in January.

Hartwig was drafted in 2002 by the Tennessee Titans and played the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He spent most of the 2006 season on injured reserve.

The Steelers have two other remaining restricted free agents, long snapper Greg Warren and wide receiver Nate Washington. They have offered Washington $1,417,000 and Warren $927,000.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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