Foote offers Steelers depth, flexibility

Free-agent linebacker Larry Foote returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers by signing a three-year contract Monday. According to ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton, the deal is worth $9.3 million.

The Steelers now have good depth at middle linebacker with starters James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons to pair with veteran backups Foote and Keyaron Fox. Signing Foote also gives Pittsburgh the flexibility to move Timmons to outside linebacker, his natural position, in the event James Harrison or LaMarr Woodley get injured.

Last year, Foote wanted his release from Pittsburgh because of a reduced role that eventually led to putting Timmons in the starting lineup. After one season with the Detroit Lions, Foote learned the grass isn't always greener on the other side and returned to a team and a system he's most comfortable with.