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Penn State in the NFL

Steelers Sign PSU Alumnus Joey Porter Jr. to Rookie Deal

The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially signed Joey Porter Jr. to his rookie contract, Steelers Now has confirmed. Porter was one of the last unsigned players from the 2023 NFL Draft class, waiting until less than 24 hours before his report date to St. Vincent College before the deal got done. The Athletic first reported the news.

Porter was the No. 32 overall pick, the first pick in the second round after the Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-rounder. The Steelers acquired the pick from the Chicago Bears in exchange for wide Chase Claypool.

The Steelers had the opportunity to trade out of the slot for more draft capital but decided that selecting Porter was the better decision. Heading into the draft, the Steelers needed help at cornerback so most experts mocked Porter to be Pittsburgh’s first-round selection.

The final details of the contract, including the payment schedule of the signing bonus and the level of guaranteed salary in the final year of the deal, were the sticking points. Porter’s full deal is worth $9.618 million over four seasons, with his entire bonus paid at signing and 70% of his fourth-year salary guaranteed.

Porter is expected to immediately compete for a regular role as an outside cornerback for the Steelers. In his four years at Penn State, he recorded 15 pass breakups, one interception, and 101 total tackles. His final year as a Nittany Lion included 9 pass breakups on 30 targets. On those 30 targets, Porter only allowed 15 receptions for 143 yards and zero touchdowns.

Porter can soak in the knowledge of the future Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson while playing a significant role in the Steelers’ defense. Pittsburgh signed Peterson earlier in the offseason to lead and mentor the defense, specifically the team’s rookie cornerback. Porter’s competition in the cornerback room includes Levi Wallace, James Pierre, Chandon Sullivan and seventh-round pick Cory Trice.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame that Porter has fits the mold of the tall, bump-and-run cornerback that the Steelers like and want on the outside of their defense.

The Steelers announced that Porter will wear No. 24 in his rookie season. Former Steelers cornerback, and teammate of Porter’s father, Ike Taylor wore No. 24 with the Steelers. In an interview, Taylor said that Porter chose No. 24 in honor of him.

Porter watched his father win the Super Bowl with the Steelers, grew up right down the road, and attended North Allegheny High School. The hometown kid will be in Pittsburgh through at least the 2026 season.


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