The Steelers will have a new leading tackler for the first time since 2011 this season.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons, coach Mike Tomlin's first draft pick as Steelers head coach, signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins on Friday. He earned second-team All-Pro honors and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season in which he totaled 132 tackles (87 solo) and two sacks.
He had a team-leading 78 solo tackles past year, along with 2½ sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
The Steelers selected Timmons 15th overall back in 2007 and he was a fixture in the team's defense.
He is only the fourth Steelers linebacker since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 to have 30 sacks and 10 interceptions; he finished with 35.5 and 12 respectively.
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He also was remarkably durable.
Timmons made just one Pro Bowl, for the 2014 season, but played at a high level in a Steelers defense that ranked at or near the top of the National Football League for much of his career with them. His 114 combined tackles were enough to lead the entire Pittsburgh defense in 2016.
He'll be counted on to play next to emerging star Ryan Shazier in 2017.
Unlike most of the deals signed in free agency, this is a true two-year contract.