NFL: Steelers sign free agents Battle, Allen
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers bolstered their special teams, a weakness last season, by signing wide receiver Arnaz Battle and safety Will Allen.
Both unrestricted free agents joined the Steelers on Monday.
Battle spent seven seasons with San Francisco and played in 88 games as a receiver, kick returner and punt returner. He has 178 receptions for 2,150 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Battle was drafted by the 49ers in the sixth round in 2003.
Allen has played all six of his NFL seasons with Tampa Bay after being drafted in the fourth round in 2004. Allen made two starts in 2009 before being placed on injured reserve after Week 9. He also is a strong special teams player.
Both players were signed largely for special teams, although Allen could start if safety Ryan Clark, who hasn’t been heavily pursued by the Steelers, leaves as a free agent. Pittsburgh’s special teams were among the league’s worst in 2009, and Battle played for new Steelers assistant coach Al Everest in San Francisco.
Battle also gives Steelers depth at receiver, where Limas Sweed’s status for next season is uncertain. Sweed was taken off the active roster late in 2009 for reasons the Steelers still haven’t disclosed.