PITTSBURGH (AP) -Former Pitt running back Kevan Barlow signed a one-year contract Thursday with the Pittsburgh Steelers and will take part in the team's mandatory minicamp that starts Friday.
Barlow, who grew up a Franco Harris fan in Pittsburgh, is expected to compete with Najeh Davenport to be Willie Parker's backup. The Steelers have sought a productive power back since Jerome Bettis retired after the Super Bowl in February 2006.
Parker ran for 1,494 yards on 337 carries last season, but new Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wanted to bring in another back to complement Parker and give him more time off. The Steelers had been expected to draft a running back last month but didn't.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Barlow was cut by the Jets in February in a salary cap move after averaging a career-low 2.8 yards per carry on 131 attempts last season. A third-round pick by San Francisco in 2001, Barlow ran for 1,024 yards and 5.1 yards per carry in 2003 despite starting only four games.
Barlow's yardage and per-carry average have declined each season since, and his 370 yards last season also were a career low. He has 3,984 yards on 1,022 carries, a 3.9 average and 30 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.
The 28-year-old played for Peabody High in Pittsburgh and is the seventh-leading rusher in Pitt history with 2,438 yards.
In another move, the Steelers released Richard Seigler, a linebacker who spent parts of the last two seasons on their practice squad.
Seigler was a fourth-round draft choice by San Francisco in 2004 and played in seven games that season, making seven tackles. He was cut by Pittsburgh during training camp last season, but was added to the practice squad for the final two games of the season.
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