The Steelers were able to keep inside linebacker Larry Foote less than a few hours before he was set to hit the free-agent market, the veteran LB tells ESPN's Josina Anderson via text.
There had been speculation that Foote was set to join Bruce Arians and the Cardinals once free agency began at 4 p.m. Tuesday. But the Steelers retained the leading tackler from last year's top-ranked defense, signing him to a multi-year deal.
Foote, 32, had a surprisingly strong season in 2012, when he returned to the starting lineup to replace James Farrior. In 16 starts, Foote finished with a career-high 113 tackles and tied a career best with four sacks.
The Steelers have a visit scheduled with Cowboys inside linebacker Dan Connor, and it's unknown how the signing of Foote affects that. The Steelers are either no longer interested in Connor or they would consider adding Connor and moving Lawrence Timmons to the outside. Pittsburgh should stick with Timmons and Foote on the inside. Timmons was an impact player at that spot last season and has never looked as comfortable playing on the outside.