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Steelers sign DE Keisel to one-year deal

PITTSBURGH (April 12, 2005) -- Restricted free agent defensive end Brett Keisel signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Keisel, who was used sparingly as a backup to Pro Bowler Aaron Smith last season, tested free agency because several teams are switching to a 3-4 defense. But Keisel said he got tired of waiting for a deal with another team.

"I just wanted to be done with it," he said. "Now I can just get in here and get to work and not have the contract thing on my mind."

Keisel, 26, was the Steelers' final pick in the seventh round of the 2002 draft and has mainly been used on special teams. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound lineman missed the entire 2003 season with a shoulder injury and missed the first nine games last season with a hamstring injury.

Keisel's signing leaves the Steelers with two unsigned restricted free agents, free safety Chris Hope and running back Verron Haynes. Hope and Haynes have until April 15 to sign an offer from another team.

If the Steelers don't match any offers, they would receive a third-round draft pick for Hope and a fifth-round pick for Haynes.

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