Melvin Ingram Agrees to Steelers Contract After 9 Years with Chargers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram celebrates after sacking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

Melvin Ingram will get a fresh start with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the two sides agreed to a deal Monday. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Ingram will sign a one-year contract with the Steelers after previously receiving interest from the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Ingram's deal is worth $4 million.

Speaking to NFL reporter Josina Anderson, Ingram confirmed the deal with Pittsburgh was completed "not too long ago." He added: 

"It's definitely a dope organization and environment; so I definitely feel like it's the place for me. "I met with Coach (Mike) Tomlin. You can tell he's very involved and a players coach. That's what stood out to me. He wants to win and that is what I am on. My role is role. He just told me to come in and be me. Everyone knows how I play."

Ingram's signing ends a long free-agent period that began in March.

He just finished a four-year, $64 million extension that he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. The 2012 first-round pick established himself as one of the NFL's premier edge-rushers from 2015-19. 

Injuries stunted Ingram's development early in his career. He had a total of six sacks from 2012 through 2014 and missed 19 games between 2013 and 2014. 

The 2015 season was a breakthrough for Ingram, who started all 16 games for the first time in his career. The South Carolina alumni set career highs with 10.5 sacks and six pass breakups. 

Since the arrival of Joey Bosa in 2017, the Chargers have had one of the NFL's best pass-rushing duos. Ingram made three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19 and had at least seven sacks in five straight seasons from 2015-19. 

Bosa received his big-money extension last offseason, signing for five years and $135 million in July. 

Injuries once again impacted Ingram's ability to stay on the field in 2020. He had zero sacks and only five quarterback hits in seven games.

When Ingram is healthy, he's proved to be a disruptive force in the backfield. The 31-year-old is a low-risk, high-upside play for the Steelers in their quest to make the playoffs again in 2021. 

The Steelers needed another edge-rusher on the defensive line after losing Bud Dupree in free agency. 

T.J. Watt is the anchor up front for Pittsburgh. The 26-year-old, who is in line for an extension, led the NFL with 15 sacks in 2020. He has averaged 33 quarterback hits, 14 sacks and 16 tackles for loss over the past three seasons. 

Pittsburgh did add depth along the defensive line in the draft with Dan Moore Jr. and Isaiahh Loudermilk. But despite his injury concerns, Ingram could have a big bounce-back season for a Steelers team that doesn't need him to be the focal point of their defense.