Steelers’ Ogunjobi, Rudolph past is irrelevant

As news broke on Tuesday that the Pittsburgh Steelers were hosting, and then signed veteran defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi to a one-year deal, social media erupted with discussions about an on-field incident between him and quarterback Mason Rudolph. What happened then is truly irrelevant to what two professionals will be expected to do as new teammates in Pittsburgh.

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Yes, the two met previously as opponents. Ogunjobi was involved in the semi-infamous unsportsmanlike conduct between then Cleveland Browns teammate Myles Garrett and Rudolph. The interaction between Ogunjobi and Rudolph, however, was little more than trash talking in a heated moment and a push.

NFL fans get caught up in moments like what occurred, especially when it involves division rivals. So, it’s not surprising that there are individuals revisiting the duo’s past, including video snippets.

Fast forward to the here and now. Steelers general manager Omar Kahn negotiated a one-year contract with Ogunjobi who was last in free agency negotiations with the Chicago Bears after a 2021 NFL season with the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s Kahn’s second negotiation in his new position after a new deal with Minkah Fitzpatrick was completed.

Ogunjobi recorded 49 tackles (23 solo) and 7.0 sacks in 2021 with the Bengals. His 21.5 career sacks in 76 games was intriguing enough to add the free agent to the Steelers roster after Stephon Tuitt announced his retirement.

Rudolph is working through the quarterback rotation as the prospective backup to Mitchell Trubisky while Pittsburgh readies rookie Kenny Pickett for future play. After spending his time behind Ben Roethlisberger – and playing in place of the future Hall of Famer – Rudolph’s focus is on his role with the Steelers.

Rosters shift all the time in the National Football League. To assume that Ogunjobi and Rudolph must still have deep-seated animosity towards each other is borderline ridiculousness.

The past is irrelevant to what the Steelers’ plans with both players are for 2022.

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