First call: Steelers’ OLB signer provides spark in practice; clarity on the Ravens rookie’s injury; Justin Tucker’s new contract

A new Steeler stands out in training camp. An IUP player is on the Steelers’ radar. The Baltimore Ravens are already dealing with an injury problem. And Justin Tucker is once again the highest-paid kicker in the NFL.

All that in the “First Call” on Tuesday.

The new ‘Bus’?

Give Ron’Dell Carter credit for opening some immediate eyes at Steelers training camp. The pass-rusher jumped right into practice yesterday, just hours after the Steelers officially signed him.

He was impressive, immediately winning some quarterback pressure drills cleanly right in front of head coach Mike Tomlin. That drew loud applause from several defensive players and coaches. Some were heard yelling, “Right off the bus!” Others were heard shouting, “Just outside 103 Benedict Hall.”

That’s the name of the dorm where the Steelers have their camp at Saint Vincent College. And now, I assume, room 103 is the registration for new players.

And probably also exit interviews for outgoing players.

The James Madison product was waived by the Arizona Cardinals on May 16. He is stocky for a sprinter, standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 269 pounds.

Carter played in four NFL games in his career, three with the Cowboys in 2020 and one with the Texans last season. He has recorded an entry in his career.

Carter has a long way to go to make the team. But it was a fun story on the sidelines for at least a day.

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Eye in IUP

Carter wasn’t the only player under consideration at the edge position. As the above tweet indicates, the Steelers were also eyeing Dondrea Tillman.

It is a product of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While at IUP, Tillman was an All-PSAC West selection twice, recording 28 sacks and 172 tackles.

Tillman just finished winning a USFL title with the Birmingham Stallions. He had 36 tackles and 2.5 sacks all year. He also spent time in The Spring League with the “Conquerors”.

Tillman has now worked with the Steelers twice. He also tried out in July, before the franchise signed defensive lineman Doug Costin.

False Lisfranc

Baltimore Ravens center Tyler Linderbaum does not have a Lisfranc injury. Or so coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

A story from earlier in the day stated that the University of Iowa product had sustained such an injury to his foot.

But head coach John Harbaugh claims the rookie sprained a different ligament, even though he’s had a Lisfranc injury before.

The hope is that he just misses the preseason and that could be ready for Game 1 of the regular season . Linderbuam was a popular pre-draft target of many Steelers fans.

That didn’t take long

Speaking of the Ravens, they extended kicker Justin Tucker’s contract following Chris Boswell’s new contract in Pittsburgh.

It’s a four-year contract extension. His previous contract was through 2023 with an $11.5 million signing bonus/option bonus. via There is $17.5 million guaranteed in the contract. The new money is $24 million. It’s an average of $6 million per year.

That makes him the highest-paid kicker in the NFL, less than a week after Boswell signed a deal of his own that tied him with Tucker for that designation.

A five-time All-Pro, Tucker has made a record 91.1% of his field goal attempts, and his 1,360 points are the most by a player in his first 10 seasons. He is 16-for-16 on field goal attempts in the final minute of regulation and has made 58 straight in the fourth quarter and overtime, the longest active streak in the league.

Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets can be republished. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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