Jacksonville Jaguars will not be welcoming Tyson Alualu back after all
The Jacksonville Jaguars wanted to bolster their defensive line this offseason, so it made sense to arrange a reunion with defensive end Tyson Alualu. However, the 2010 first-round pick changed his mind and decided to re-sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
Alualu, the tenth overall pick in 2010’s draft, had agreed to a two-year contract with the Jags but tested positive for COVID-19 and couldn’t fly to Jacksonville to finalize the deal. Not being able to travel contributed to his decision to stay in Pittsburgh. The defensive tackle spent the last four seasons of his career in Steel City after playing the first seven in Jacksonville.
Over his 11-year career, Alualu has appeared in 172 games with 109 starts and has logged 398 total tackles, 46 tackles for a loss, 24.5 sacks, 14 passes defensed, and four forced fumbles. In 2020, he posted an 86.6 Pro Football Focus grade, the seventh-best mark among defensive tackles.
While the Jaguars surely expected most out of Alualu, the California product has carved a niche as a rotational player. This is not the outcome you would want from a top draft selection, but not every pick can turn into an All-Pro and the defensive tackle has gone on to play in the NFL for 11 years, which isn’t bad at all.
How does Tyson Alualu’s decision affect the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Alualu was going to join the Jaguars’ defensive line rotation, and although he could’ve helped fortify the unit, the team isn’t suddenly in disarray. Jacksonville traded for defensive tackle Malcom Brown and have a couple of promising young defensive tackles in Doug Costin and DaVon Hamilton. Moreover, the Jags can add a defensive tackle prospect such as Alabama’s Christian Barmore in 2021’s draft.
The Jaguars’ defensive front would’ve benefited from Alualu’s presence and would arguably better with him than without him. Nevertheless, other than having to put his old Jacksonville jersey back in the closet, his absence won’t affect the Jags much in 2021.